Fat, Four-Eyed, and Female: Stereotypes of Obesity, Glasses, and Gender1


  • 1

    This research was conducted while the first two authors were visiting faculty in the School of Psychology, University of New South Wales.

Requests for reprints should be sent to Mary B. Harris, Department of Educational Foundations, University of New Mexico, Albuquerque, NM 87131.


In a between-subjects design, 46 male and 101 female Australian university students rated a target person described as male or female, overweight or average weight, and wearing glasses or not, on twelve 7-point rating scales. As predicted, a negative stereotype of the overweight person and a complex one of the person with glasses were found. However, there was no significant effect of sex of target except on the ratings of masculine and feminine and no interaction of sex of target with either the glasses or obesity variables. Nor did sex of subject influence the ratings. The results suggest that, although stereotypes of obesity and glasses do exist, they may be as severe for men as for women.