Linkages between Attitudes toward Gender Roles, Body Satisfaction, Self-Esteem, and Appearance Management Behaviors in Women


Author's Note: Address correspondence to: Sharron J. Lennon, Ph.D., Department of Textiles and Clothing, 1787 Neil Avenue, Ohio State University, Columbus, OH 43210-1295.


The purpose of this research was to examine possible linkages between attitudes toward gender roles, body satisfaction, self-esteem, and appearance management behaviors. Results of a survey of 194 undergraduate women indicated that women holding nontraditional attitudes toward gender roles had higher self-esteem (p < .01), but not body satisfaction, than women holding traditional attitudes toward gender roles. A post hoc analysis indicated that body satisfaction and a nontraditional attitude toward gender roles predicted high levels of self-esteem (p < .0001 and p < .01, respectively), whereas the likelihood of using painful appearance management procedures predicted low levels of self-esteem (p < .05). Suggestions are offered for adult education andfor socially responsible marketing practices for appearance-related products.