Abstract Title

Gender Differences in the Effects of Viewing Appearance-Related Content on Instagram

Additional Funding Sources

This research was supported by Boise State University.

Abstract

The present study has been developed to expand upon the work of Cohen et al. (2019) by exploring ways in which viewing different feeds or posts (body-positive posts, body-ideal posts, and neutral posts) on Instagram influence not only women’s but men’s body satisfaction and feelings about weight and face. We hypothesize that body satisfaction and perceived effects of media exposure will increase in both men and women after viewing body-positive and neutral content on Instagram. In addition, as no studies have examined the influence of body-positive posts in men, we wanted to assess whether there might be gender differences in post type on body image and perceived effects of media exposure. Participants were administered online surveys and were assigned to one of three viewing conditions depending on their gender: body-positive, ideal body, or neutral. We found that body satisfaction decreased between pre- and post-exposure for the ideal condition for both men and women, with a sharper decline for women. In addition, we also found a gender and experimental condition effect on participants’ satisfaction with their weight and face. Future studies should attempt to replicate this study in a laboratory setting to control participants’ attention to the experimental condition.

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Gender Differences in the Effects of Viewing Appearance-Related Content on Instagram

The present study has been developed to expand upon the work of Cohen et al. (2019) by exploring ways in which viewing different feeds or posts (body-positive posts, body-ideal posts, and neutral posts) on Instagram influence not only women’s but men’s body satisfaction and feelings about weight and face. We hypothesize that body satisfaction and perceived effects of media exposure will increase in both men and women after viewing body-positive and neutral content on Instagram. In addition, as no studies have examined the influence of body-positive posts in men, we wanted to assess whether there might be gender differences in post type on body image and perceived effects of media exposure. Participants were administered online surveys and were assigned to one of three viewing conditions depending on their gender: body-positive, ideal body, or neutral. We found that body satisfaction decreased between pre- and post-exposure for the ideal condition for both men and women, with a sharper decline for women. In addition, we also found a gender and experimental condition effect on participants’ satisfaction with their weight and face. Future studies should attempt to replicate this study in a laboratory setting to control participants’ attention to the experimental condition.