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The authors do not work for, consult, own shares in or receive funding from any company or organisation that would benefit from this article, and have disclosed no relevant affiliations beyond their academic appointment. Asian American women understand that the alleged murderer of eight people in Atlanta was acting in keeping with a culture filled with racialized and sexualized views of Asian women.

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For example, several of these studies do not control for the age and education level of respondents see Cachelinand this may for the differences in their findings. We expect that non-white daters, both men and women, will have stronger preferences than white daters for those body types that lie outside of the dominant idealized body types:.

Hypothesis 3b: Non-white women will be open to dating men with a wider variety of body types than will white women. We also control for age and region. The dependent variable for each regression is the of body types ranging from 1 to 10 that a dater indicates as preferable for a potential date. Allison et al. For example, race—ethnicity affects what parts of teen magazines young girls focus on, such that African-American girls are less likely than white girls to read the sections focused on beauty tips Duke Non-white minorities, particularly non-white minority women, do not accept the mainstream, white beauty and body ideals see Barnett, Keel and Conoscenti ; Demarest and Allen ; Dukeand are more accepting of heavier bodies defining beauty in terms of personality traits rather than as physical characteristics Landrine, Klonoff and Brown-Collins ; Parker et al.

To test hypotheses 2b and 2c we split the sample by gender so that one model includes all male daters, the other all female daters. Given the conflicting findings of these studies, it is difficult to girl the extent to which racial—cultural influences override the influences of the dominant culture. Latinos, for example, report higher desired weights for women than do whites Winkleby et al. Still, we reason that in the absence of competing racial cultural imagery, whites will be more highly influenced than are non-whites by dominant cultural imagery.

Hypothesis 2b: White men as compared to non-white men will be more desirous of the dominant, idealized i. Dating suspect that within each gender Washington, whites will be more likely than all non-white groups African-Americans, Asians and Latinos to desire these idealized body types because they have fewer contending media outlets than do non-whites and have asian reason to question these images since people of their same race group are represented. Learn More.

Voice and agency : empowering women and girls for shared prosperity

Since we expect that body type preferences will vary by race—ethnicity, it is important to control for region to be sure we are testing racial—ethnic differences and not simply regional differences. Although they may do so, there is scant empirical data showing the extent to which men have more specific body type preferences than do women. Beauboeuf-Lafontant and Root find that African-American and Latina women have a lower incidence of eating disorders than do white women, and Schooler and colleagues conclude that exposure to mainstream i.

It is the first to systematically test the extent to which African-American, Asian, Latino, and white men and women of different ages, and in an actual dating context, may similarly prefer dominant portrayals of ideal bodies; that is thin women and muscular men, in dating preferences. While not the focus of their college student speed daters study, Kurzban and Weedenp. Crandall and Martinez ; Desmond et al.

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Cachelin et al. There is some evidence showing that acculturation and the acceptance of Western ideals is a major risk factor for eating disorders among Asian Americans Davis and Katzman ; Hall Asian-American women exhibiting a stronger adherence to family norms are less likely to develop bulimia or anorexia. The of these studies are contradictory with some concluding that white women are less satisfied with their bodies than are Asian-American women Akan and Grilo ; Altabeand other studies finding Asian-American women are as likely as are white women to have body concerns and weight dissatisfaction Gluck and Geliebter ; Koff et al.

This suggests that Asian Americans, much like Latinos, and African Americans similarly experience conflicting messages between their culture and the dominant white culture. In each of these regressions we restrict our sample to daters who indicate specific body type preferences.

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Shapelier and heavier body types are not only accepted within the community, but more desired. Bordo; Collins ; Foster ; Pipher ; Urla and Swedlund ; Wolf by examining the intersection of race—ethnicity and gender, as they affect body type preferences for potential partners. We focus our review of the literature exclusively on those studies that address the United States, unless otherwise noted, since that is the location of our sample of daters.

Yet, these findings have been contradicted by the work of Shaw and colleagueswho find no ificant ethnic differences in eating disturbances. Although our focus is on racial—ethnic and gender differences, we also consider the influence of other factors that have typically been studied in conjunction with mate selection including age, level of education and geographic region see Kalmijn for a comprehensive review of intermediaries in marriage trends. Try out PMC Labs and tell us what you think.

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The methods vary ificantly. Similarly, the community study of African American, Asian, Latino and white dieters of Cachelin et al. Body type preferences are socially derived; ideals of attractiveness and the body vary by culture Crandall and Martinez ; Shaw and throughout history Mulvey et al. In contrast, studies show that white men prefer thin bodies for women Greenberg and LaPorte and that they feel they would be ridiculed for dating a woman with a heavier than the ideal body type Powell and Kahnalthough some studies show they equally prefer thin and average bodies Furnham and Radley ; Furnham, Hester and Weir Additional studies confirm racial—ethnic differences such that African-American men are more accepting of heavier women, but white men choose thinner silhouette figures as ideal female body types, and hope their girlfriends will lose weight ificantly more often than African-American men Greenberg and LaPorte Compared to white men, African-American men prefer larger body types for women and attribute fewer negative and more positive personality traits and qualities to obese women Jackson and McGill Other studies show that non-whites are heavily influenced by their respective racial—ethnic cultural standards of beauty e.

There is an extensive literature on sex differences in mate preferences showing that men place greater value than women on the physical attractiveness of an ideal mate e. Some studies suggest that culture plays a ificant role in body type preferences with African Americans and Latinos more accepting of heavier body types than whites e.

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Using logistic and linear regressions we analyze a unique dataset compiled from the internet dating profiles of heterosexual males and females, African Americans, Asians, Latinos and whites in the United States, who are between the ages of 18— We expand on the work of several scholars who address the body as a site of inequality e. We employ separate logistic regression models to test each hypothesis. All of these studies that assess body type preferences are methodologically limited. Hypothesis 4a: Non-white men will be more open than white men to dating women with average, curvy, thick, extra, large, and voluptuous body types.

About the authors

Hypothesis 4b: Non-white women will be more open than white women to dating men who have slim, slender, average, thick, curvy, extra, large and voluptuous body types. Hypothesis 2c: White women as compared to non-white women will be more desirous of the dominant, idealized i. We assert that body type preferences are driven by mainstream popular culture as well as other racial—cultural influences. Altabe ; Demarest and Allen or adolescents Crandall and Martineza specific gender sample Cash and Henry ; Poranor a particular community population e.

Many studies include ratings of silhouette figures e.

Introduction

Education is another important control for various reasons. We test this hypothesis with two logistic regression models.

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We run logistic regressions separately for men and women to determine whether non-white daters are open to a greater of body types than are white daters. Such images provide a standard for all that may be negotiated but must be engaged because of its pervasiveness and its association to structures of power and domination.

Bolig et al. Past research finds one's own body type influences the body types desired in potential dates Cachelin et al.

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To begin, we are interested in whether men or women are more likely to state specific body type preferences for a date. First we hypothesize that non-whites, both men and women, will be open to a larger variety of body types than their white counterparts:.

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While both men and women are held to standards of attractiveness and body ideals, these remain much more demanding for women than for men Bordo ; Urla and Swedlund Women also suffer harsher social consequences for violating standards of beautiful bodies than men Cash and Roy ; Stake and Lauer Overweight female college students are less likely to be currently dating, more likely to date less frequently overall, and to perceive their dates as less satisfied when compared to overweight male college students Stake and Lauer To be certain, images of muscular men have gained popularity Spitzer, Henderson, and Zivian ; Trujillobut representations of men are far less constrained Hanke ; Nixon because men also gain status from power, wealth or prestige Hanke Therefore, we expect:.

White males are more likely than non-white men to prefer to date thin and toned women, while African-American and Latino men are ificantly more likely than white men to prefer female dates with thick or large bodies. There are few studies assessing the preferred body types of heterosexual Asian Americans, or their preferences for opposite sex body types. Past research has identified these factors as important predictors of marital partner choice or body type preferences. There are many different images of beauty in various segments of popular culture so that even if dominant hegemonic images persist, individuals are still able to choose among a variety of images.

Men and women differ in their age preferences for mates; men generally prefer younger women and women prefer older men Wiederman It might also be the case that body and beauty norms vary by the region of the country in which one lives. We also control for dater selectivity by measuring the of specific preferences a dater makes.

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First, there are racial—ethnic variations in education on a national level Kanewhich are also present in our sample. Most importantly, they do not test racial—ethnic and gender body type preferences of daters in an actual setting. For example, Georgia has higher obesity rates than California CDCso a dater in Atlanta may be more open to larger body types and less open to smaller body types than a dater in L.

The daters in our sample are from within 50 miles of four U. We selected these four regions to ensure diversity in our sample, as these are geographically dispersed and have different racial—ethnic compositions. Some scholars suggest that non-whites have oppositional ways of interpreting the dominant cultural images of beauty or that people of color find sources other than mainstream mass media and popular culture to form their ideals of beauty see Craig ; Duke ; Durham Racial—ethnic groups may be insolated by their culture.

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For example, the internet and non-white magazines provide resources that may promote opposing images. Employing a United States sample of 5, Yahoo heterosexual internet dating profiles, this study finds race—ethnicity and gender influence body type preferences for dates, with men and whites ificantly more likely than women and non-whites to have such preferences.

With an intersectionality perspective, we address gender and race—ethnicity simultaneously. As we stated at the outset, study are inconclusive regarding the extent to which non-whites adhere to dominant standards of beauty. Hypothesis 3a: Non-white men will be open to dating women with a wider variety of body types than will white men.

This study compares differences in body type preferences for dates between African Americans, Asians, Latinos and whites in the United States. There is mixed evidence regarding racial—ethnic differences in body type preferences.

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