Are Feminist Women Protected from Body Image Problems? A Meta-analytic Review of Relevant Research

Research paper by Sarah K. Murnen, Linda Smolak

Indexed on: 07 Aug '08Published on: 07 Aug '08Published in: Sex roles


It was hypothesized that feminist women would experience positive body image due to a heightened ability to critique cultural pressures related to thinness. Samples from 26 studies (almost all North American) were compiled for a meta-analysis to examine the association between feminist identity and measures related to body image and eating problems. The largest number of effect sizes found addressed the association between feminist identity and body attitudes (k = 28), and it was found that there was a positive, significant association that was strongest when older women participants were tested and when a more purposeful sample (e.g., women studies students) was questioned. There were also significant negative associations between feminist identity and other measures related to eating problems.