The Relation Between Anti-Fat Stereotypes and Anti-Fat Prejudices: The Role of Gender as a Moderator

Ana Jovančević*, Miljan Jović

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

Abstract

Research suggests that people attribute more negative traits to individuals with obesity than to non-obese individuals, and that females with obesity are seen more negatively than males. The theory also suggests that stereotypes are cognitive predecessors of prejudices. The aims of this research were to examine the latent structure underlying anti-fat stereotypical traits, differences in perceiving individuals with obesity and non-obese individuals, male and female individuals with obesity, as well as the role of anti-fat stereotypes in anti-fat prejudices. The sample consisted of 106 respondents (Male = 16; Female = 86; Mean age = 19.98), who graded stimuli photographs of male and female individuals (with obesity and average-weight) on series of anti-fat stereotypical traits on two occasions, and filled in Anti-fat prejudices questionnaire. The data were analyzed through EFA and CFA, ANOVA, and structural equation modeling (moderation). Four factors behind stereotypical traits were extracted: Positive social image, Perceived lack of self-care, Perceived persistence, and Antipathy. It has been shown that respondents gave stimuli photographs of individuals with obesity lower scores on Positive social image and Perceived persistence, and higher scores on Perceived lack of self-care and Antipathy. The same results were obtained for females within the subsample of individuals with obesity. Furthermore, it has been shown that certain anti-fat stereotypes (Positive social image, Perceived lack of self-care, and Perceived persistence) predict anti-fat prejudices, and that gender was a significant moderator of the effect of Perceived lack of self-care on anti-fat prejudices. We can conclude that individuals with obesity are indeed seen in a more negative light than non-obese individuals, and that this is more pronounced for females with obesity, which is in accordance with previous studies. Moreover, the results suggest the possible role of anti-fat stereotypes as cognitive predecessors of anti-fat prejudices, and that gender of individuals with obesity has an effect on this relationship.

Original languageEnglish
JournalPsychological Reports
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print/First online - 31 Mar 2021

Keywords

  • anti-fat prejudice
  • Anti-fat stereotypes
  • gender and obesity
  • perception of individuals with obesity
  • weight bias

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