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Perceptions of female body size and shape in China, Hong Kong, and the United Kingdom

Lookup NU author(s): Thomas Pollet, Dr Martin Tovee


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Photographs of 50 women were rated for attractiveness, health and fertility recorded by four sets of participants; Rural Chinese (n=50), Chinese participants in Hong Kong (n=50), Chinese participants living in the UK (n=50) and Caucasian participants living in the UK. The results suggest that Body Mass Index (kg.m2) is the best predictor of all three judgements in all four observer groups, while shape cues, such as the Waist-to-Hip Ratio (WHR), seem to play a relatively small role. Shape cues do consistently account for a greater proportion of the variance in all three Chinese groups than for the Caucasian participants implying a greater role for shape in the Chinese participants’ judgements. This result may reflect the competing pressures between the healthy range for shape and body mass in the Chinese populations versus the role of visual diet in influencing body preferences in different cultural environments.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Mo JJY, Cheung K, Gledhill LJ, Pollet TV, Boothroyd LG, Tovée MJ

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Cross-Cultural Research

Year: 2014

Volume: 48

Issue: 1

Pages: 78-103

Print publication date: 15/11/2013

ISSN (print): 1069-3971

ISSN (electronic): 1552-3578

Publisher: Sage Publications, Inc.


DOI: 10.1177/1069397113510272


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