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Ethnicity of Dating Partner, Pressure for Thinness, and Body Dissatisfaction


Alan Roberts, Department of Psychological and Brain Sciences, Indiana University, 1101 E. 10th Street, Bloomington, IN 47401. E-mail:


Two studies explored the relation between ethnicity, attitudes toward body weight, dating behavior, and female body satisfaction. Study 1 found that White men expressed a lighter female ideal weight, more resentment about their girlfriend's weight, and more pressure for their partner's thinness than did Black men. Study 2 found that regardless of their own ethnicity, women who dated White men had lower body mass index (BMI), lower ideal weights, and reported experiencing lower levels of body acceptance by their dating partners. This lack of acceptance was associated with lower levels of body satisfaction. These results support the view that the differing aesthetic preferences of Black and White men contribute to differing levels of body satisfaction among Black and White women.