Peer Competition and Women's Body Image

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It has been said time and time again that media heavily influences the desastisfied body image, may women and girls enconter. Previous studies have shown how over expouser to the hyper-sexualized ads and images in the media lead to a distortion of body image in women and girls. However, there is yet another factor that influences the decline of body image just as much. Peer competition has been shown to contribute to this decline as well. Peer competition is any rivarly for supermacy amongst those of the same age group or social group. A recent study shows that women’s body dissatisfaction is influenced by peer competition with other rather than depictions of women in the media. Muñoz and Ferguson, (2012) developed a study in order to further understand the influence of inter-peer pressure in body dissatisfaction. Body dissatisfaction refers to any "negative self-evaluation of one’s own appearance and the desire to be more physically attractive." The problem of body image has long been shown to be a conern for the American Psychiatric Association or APA, (Muñoz & Ferguson, 2012, p. 383). It raises so much concern because an unsatisfying body image has been know to cause problems such as eating disorders, depression and self-esteem. Scholars have argued that an unsatisfying body image can be caused by a mix of different social and personal factors, yet media and peer pressure stand out as the two factors with them most impact on body image. Muñoz and Ferguson, (2012) considers both of these influences in exploring body image based on a "Catalyst Model" for body dissatisfaction, which prioritizes the influence of peers over those of the media. In this study, 218 university students, all females between the ages of 14 a 34, partici... ... middle of paper ... ...on on life satisfaction, a second equation was formed. Results for the model were significant, R = .68, F(8, 157) = 16.44, p < .001, (Muñoz & Ferguson, 2012, p. 389). This means that body dissatisfaction was a very effective predictor of low life satisfaction in women, even with all the other factors. In, Muñoz & Ferguson (2012), other significant predictors of life satisfaction included depression and a perception parental love. Once again, media or televison exposure was not effective in predicting life satisfaction, and the order in which it was presented did not influcence the results. Works Cited Muñoz, M. E., & Ferguson, C. J. (2012). ). Body Dissatisfaction Correlates with Inter-Peer Competitiveness, Not Media Exposure: A Brief Report.. Journal of Social and Clinical Psychology, 31(4), 383-392. Retrieved December 11, 2013, from the psycINFO database.
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