What is it about?

The results show that sexual orientation can potentially buffer the negative outcomes of internalization of the thin ideal (i.e., body dissatisfaction) for lesbian women, but only at lower levels of internalization. Furthermore, it is important to further investigate potential moderating factors that may help protect lesbian women from experiencing poor body image.

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Why is it important?

This study further highlights the complexity of the experience of body image in women. There are still many unknowns when it comes to body image generally, and even more so with how some women can be more affected by negative body image than others. It appears that in certain situations the influence of societal norms, namely the thin ideal, can be just as detrimental to body image in women regardless of sexual orientation.


As this study comprised part of my PhD thesis, it's a pleasure to see it published. I hope that this work brings a spotlight to the unique perspective of body image in lesbian women, and encourages further research in this space.

Sophie Dahlenburg
University of Adelaide

Read the Original

This page is a summary of: Internalization of a thin ideal and body dissatisfaction in lesbian and heterosexual women: Testing a moderated mediation model., Psychology of Sexual Orientation and Gender Diversity, December 2023, American Psychological Association (APA),
DOI: 10.1037/sgd0000688.
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