A study was conducted to determine gender differences in the relation between self-esteem and body image. We hypothesized stronger connections between self-conceptions of physical attractiveness and self-esteem for women and consequently important gender differences in the structure of the self. For the purpose of this study 402 students completed three measures of self-concept and self-esteem. Exploratory factor analyses revealed important gender differences: in the women's sample, two physical appearance scales loaded on the first factor alongside three measures of general self, whereas in men, these two scales formed a separate factor together with two scales measuring physical ability or instrumental function of the body. The results are in accordance with the evolutionary theory and societal value placed on women's attractiveness.
Financed by the National Centre for Research and Development under grant No. SP/I/1/77065/10 by the strategic scientific research and experimental development program:
SYNAT - “Interdisciplinary System for Interactive Scientific and Scientific-Technical Information”.