2020-09-16Zeitschriftenartikel DOI: 10.25646/6901
Gender role orientation and body satisfaction during adolescence – Cross-sectional results of the 2017/18 HBSC study
During adolescence both sexes experience a loss of body satisfaction, whereby the effect is greater among girls. Coming to terms with gender roles is an important step in the development of a person’s identity. Traditional gender roles tend to emphasise certain physical attributes: attractiveness in women, and strength and dominance in men. This article analyses associations between a traditional gender role orientation and body satisfaction during adolescence based on logistic regression models and using data taken from the 2017/18 Health Behaviour in School-aged Children (HBSC) study (n=1,912 girls, n=1,689 boys). The results show an overall high degree of body satisfaction, with girls scoring lower than boys. Role preconceptions were mostly not traditional, with boys being slightly more traditional than girls. In both sexes, a more traditional role orientation was accompanied by lower levels of body satisfaction; in boys, this effect was seen to decrease with age. The stereotypical features of role preconceptions are examined as a possible explanation for these differences. An alternative explanation posits that an egalitarian role orientation (i.e. one based on the principle of equality) creates a more tolerant environment with greater social support, which could foster a greater sense of self-acceptance. These results indicate that questioning traditional preconceptions of gender roles during adolescence may help prevent problems related to body image in both sexes.
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