Showing posts from September, 2018

Who is at high risk of body dissatisfaction?

Do you feel dissatisfied with one or more parts of your body or appearance? If so, you are not alone. In fact, body dissatisfaction is so widespread that it has been given the label of normative discontent. Although girls and women are most affected by body image issues, boys and men are increasingly dissatisfied with their body. Negative feelings about our bodies are therefore common, which is a problem in itself and raises important questions about why this is so prevalent across society. However, for some people, normative discontent turns into abnormal preoccupation. By abnormal, I mean negative beliefs, thoughts, and behaviour that affect the ability to function on a daily basis, significantly reduce quality of life, and increase the risk of early mortality.
As with most things in life, body dissatisfaction exists on a continuum, so who is most likely to be on the high end of the scale? Unsurprisingly, people who receive negative comments about their appearance are more likely to …

The Demandingness of Youth for Women: Why Women Are Most ‘Desirable’ at 18 and Men at 50

In a recent study, researchers Bruch and Newman (2018: 1-6) investigated the ‘desirability’ of both male and female online dating users. Bruch and Newman determined, through analysing over 200,000 messages between online dating users, that women’s sexual desirability is at its highest at age 18 whilst men’s sexual desirability peaks at age 50. After these two ages, desirability declines for both groups. Why is this the case? One explanation offered by Bruch and Newman is that desirability varies with educational level (Bruch and Newman 2018: 2). For instance, highly educated men are perceived by women to be highly desirable. However, the same is not true of women. According to the study, women are most attractive to men when they are educated to undergraduate level, but their desirability decreases as they reach postgraduate levels of study (Bruch and Newman 2018: 2).

This research has sparked a considerable amount of debate, all seeking to answer why average desirability varies with …