Exploring intrasexual competition as a predictor and consequence of weight loss

Brew, Jessica (2013). Exploring intrasexual competition as a predictor and consequence of weight loss Honours Thesis, School of Psychology, The University of Queensland.

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Author Brew, Jessica
Thesis Title Exploring intrasexual competition as a predictor and consequence of weight loss
School, Centre or Institute School of Psychology
Institution The University of Queensland
Publication date 2013-10-09
Thesis type Honours Thesis
Supervisor Shelli Dubbs
Total pages 72
Language eng
Subjects 1701 Psychology
Abstract/Summary ontemporary theoretical constructs have yet to explain the reasons underlying the popularisation of the dieting industry among women. Intrasexual competition, rooted in evolutionary theory could cast ground breaking light on understanding this area. Intrasexual competition is theoretically defined as the occurrence of same sex rivals competing, for access to mates (Buss, 1988). It has been noted that women compete in the realm of physical attractiveness as a result of male preferences (Buss & Barnes, 1986). This thesis, in Study 1, proposed that intrasexual competition might be influencing the importance of appearance as an outcome of weight loss, when compared to athleticism and health and wellbeing. It further proposed that intrasexually competitive women would indicate a greater willingness to engage in and actually practice risky dieting behaviours. Study 1 utilised access to an international sample (N = 251) of women in order to explore this. It was found that women higher in intrasexual competition were more likely to indicate appearance as their primary goal for weight loss. These women were also found to be more willing to engage practice in risky dieting behaviour. A second study within this thesis explored intrasexual competition and intrasexually competitive behaviours as potential effects of weight loss. It was proposed that intrasexual competition would mediate the relationship between weight loss and intrasexually competitive behaviours. To test this, participants were recruited from Weight Watchers (N = 32). Results of the Study 2 determined that this was not the case. Theoretical implications and suggestions for future research are discussed.
Keyword intrasexual competition
Weight loss

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Created: Wed, 11 Jun 2014, 10:20:05 EST by Danico Jones on behalf of School of Psychology