Date of Conferral







Gordon Forbes


Although there is an increasing amount of research concerning body satisfaction among heterosexual White men, few of these studies have adequately represented heterosexual Black men. This was a quantitative survey study aimed to illuminate gaps in the literature regarding Black men's body satisfaction experiences. The study used surveys and tested research questions to determine whether college-aged heterosexual Black (n = 220, 55%) and White (n = 180, 45%) men differed in their body satisfaction experiences and whether race significantly moderated the relation between sociocultural influences and body satisfaction in the two groups. This study was based on the social comparison theory, and examined sociocultural influences (i.e., media images, parents, peers, internalization of cultural appearance standards, and drives for muscularity) known to be associated with body satisfaction. Results from t test analyses indicated that Black men were significantly more satisfied with their appearance and weight, were significantly more confident that other people liked their appearance, and reported less social pressures to have an attractive body in comparison to their White peers. A series of moderated regression analyses failed to indicate that race moderated the relation between the sociocultural influences and body satisfaction. Seventy-five percent of both groups were dissatisfied with their bodies and desired to be more muscular. Social change implications include alerting clinicians that Black men, like White men, should be screened for problems with body satisfaction: Results may stimulate research to determine why Black men have greater overall body satisfaction than White men, and lead to culturally-specific guidelines for identifying and treating body dissatisfaction.