An investigation of weight bias against women and its associations with individual difference factors

Viren Swami*, Jakob Pietschnig, Stefan Stieger, Martin J. Tovée, Martin Voracek

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

25 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

This study explored weight bias against women from different weight categories in relation to occupational decisions, child adoption, and helping behaviour, as well as individual difference correlates of weight bias. A total of 1024 participants were randomly assigned to one of five conditions in which they were asked to select the women they would most and least likely hire, promote, or terminate, select for parental adoption, or assist following a traffic accident. They also completed measures of anti-fat attitudes, fat phobia, and attitudes toward obese persons. Results showed bias against both emaciated and obese women across conditions, and suggested that bias was strongest in relation to hiring and weakest in relation to helping behaviour. Further results showed that only greater concern about becoming fat significantly predicted weight bias. These results suggest that weight bias may affect women at both ends of the weight continuum, which require measures to reduce discrimination.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)194-199
Number of pages6
JournalBody Image
Volume7
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jun 2010
Externally publishedYes

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