By Thomas F. Cash PhD, Thomas Pruzinsky Phd
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Further, there is no doubt that these levels of thinness have not abated but continued as the ideal into the 2000s, but with a greater focus on having at least a medium bust size and being toned, in addition to being thin. 9. In men, there is similar evidence that the cultural norm for the ideal 2. Sociocultural Perspectives on Body Image 15 body has become increasingly muscular. For example, one study found that Playgirl centerfold (male) models increased in both BMI and muscularity (fat-free mass index) across the 1970s–1990s, with some male ideals exceeding the upper limit of muscularity attainable without the use of anabolic steroids.
These findings suggest that puberty may be a critical period for the emergence of genetic influences on disordered eating and body image problems, and that biological/genetic factors associated with puberty may contribute to the genetic diathesis of disordered eating. Consistent with this hypothesis, Klump, Keel, Sisk, and Burt compared the heritability of disordered eating and body image problems in a group of female twins with low versus high circulating levels of estradiol during puberty. The “low-estradiol” group demonstrated little-to-no genetic effects on body dissatisfaction and weight preoccupation scores, whereas the “high-estradiol” group demonstrated significant genetic effects.
The second considers computer-based interventions. The third articulates ecological and activism approaches to prevention and the fourth discusses changes in public policy to prevent body image problems and their consequences. ” Drawing upon the contents of the volume, this chapter offers an organized series of epigrammatic statements regarding the most important future directions for body image research and its application to treatment and prevention. Conclusions The scientific study of body image has a fascinating history and continues to be a rapidly growing field.