Date of Award


Honors Thesis Number




Faculty Advisor

Taub, Diane E.


Objective: To further understand the relationship between body image and sexual attitudes among men and women, whites and nonwhites, an exploratory study was conducted on undergraduate students. Method: Participating in this study was 305 females and 184 males, among the participants were 110 African Americans and 379 Caucasians. The Multidimensional Body-Self Relations Questionnaire (MBSRQ), which measures body image, and the Sexual Attitudes scale, which measures sexual attitudes, was distributed in a questionnaire to students (Brown, Cash, & Mikulka, 1990; Hendrick & Hendrick, 1987). Results: Significant differences were found among both women and men, and African Americans and Caucasians. Women were more invested in their appearance, more preoccupied with being overweight, more apparent about being overweight, and more reactive to becoming ill. As for sexual attitudes, women showed more permissive attitudes towards sex than men. Men felt more positive satisfaction with their appearance, felt their bodies were more physically fit, they invested more time to enhance or maintain their fitness, they felt their bodies were in better health, and they were more satisfied with areas of their body. Caucasians were more likely to take an active part in maintaining their physical fitness, and feel good about their health. Also, Caucasians were more likely to be preoccupied with being overweight. Overall, African Americans felt more satisfied with their appearance, invested more time in their appearance, and were more satisfied with their body areas. In addition, they were more likely to react to being or becoming ill.