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Perspectives

Publication Date

5-1-2010

Abstract

In this study we investigated body satisfaction and sex differences in exercise motivations. We used a questionnaire that assessed the exercise motivations: stress/anxiety, health/fitness level, mood/enjoyment, and appearance/body shape. We had 198 undergraduate participants, 114 females and 84 males between the ages of 18-23 from the University of New Hampshire, Durham campus. Self-objectification is relevant in this topic because males and females feel pressures from society to obtain the “ideal body type”. We found that health/fitness goals are the primary motivators for both males and females. There were statistically significant differences between male and female exercisers desire to lose, gain weight, and be stronger. The majority of both males and females, regardless of exercise behavior, desire to have thinner bodies. The majority of exercising males report no discrepancy in their ideal and actual body types and the majority of exercising females report an ideal body type thinner than their own body.

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