The role of exposure to media-idealized male physiques on men's body image
Strong, Scott Martin
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Although numerous laboratory studies have tested sociocultural models of body image disturbance among females by experimentally exposing participants to mass media image of hyper-thin female models, few controlled studies have examined the possible effects of exposure to images of hyper-lean and muscular males on male body image. This study employed experimental methodology to assess effects of exposure to media portrayals of hyper-lean and muscular male images on body image in men (N = 110). Dependent variables included muscle satisfaction, body fat satisfaction, attitudes about anabolic steroid use, ideal fat-free mass, ideal waist-to-hip ratio, and chest-to-waist ratio self-estimates. Relative to a pre-test and control condition, viewing the mass media ‘ideal’ physiques resulted in significant decreases in muscle and body fat satisfaction, and in endorsement of body ideals higher in fat-free mass. Variables hypothesized to moderate effects included drive for muscularity, social comparison, pre-test body ideals, and sexual orientation. Moderator analyses yielded few significant effects, and the likelihood that these represent Type I errors is discussed.