Gender Differences in the Influence of Sex Roles on Appearance Satisfaction and Self Esteem

성역할 정체성 및 성역할 불일치가 여성과 남성의 외모만족도와 자아존중감에 미치는 영향 비교

  • Lee Yoon-Jung (Dept. of Home Economics Education, Korea University)
  • 이윤정 (고려대학교 가정교육과)
  • Published : 2006.02.01


The purpose of this study was to compare the influences of men's and women's sex role identities and sex role discrepancies on their appearance satisfaction and self esteem. Congruency theory, androgyny theory, masculinity theory and self discrepancy theory were used to explore the influence of sex roles on appearance satisfaction and self esteem. Theories suggest that the influence would be different by gender. Data were collected from a convenience sample of 125 men and 197 women aged between 20 and 40 years living in the Seoul metropolitan area. Structural equation modeling was employed to analyze the data. For men, both appearance satisfaction and self esteem were influenced only by their perceived masculinity. For women, however, perceived femininity, femininity discrepancy and masculinity discrepancy had an influence on appearance satisfaction. All the four sex role variables had an influence on women's self esteem. BMI had a negative effect on self esteem for women, but no effect for men. According to the results, unlike men, whose appearance satisfaction and self esteem are only determined by how masculine they are, the women's levels of appearance satisfaction and self esteem are influenced not only by how feminine they are, but also by how masculine and feminine they want to be. The results of this study have implications for body image counselors or practitioners who try to help young women increase their self esteem and satisfaction to their appearance.


  1. Alfonso, V. C; Allison, D. B., Rader, D. E., & Gorman, B. S. (1996). The Extended Satisfaction with Life Scale: Development and psychometric properties. Social Indicators Research, 38,275-301
  2. Bern, S. L. (1974). The measurement of psychological androgyny. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 42, 155-162
  3. Borchert, J., & Heinberg, L. (1996). Gender schema and gender role discrepancy as correlates of body image. Journal of Psychology, 130(5).547-559
  4. Chung, O. B. (1986). Sex role identity and self esteem among Korea and American college students. Korean Journal of Home Economics, 24(2), 123-137
  5. Davidson, T. E., & McCabe, M. P. (2005). Relationships between men's and women's body image and their psychological, social, and sexual functioning. Sex Roles, 52(7/8).463-475
  6. Jeong, J. K. (1990). Korean Sex Role Inventory (KSRl). Korean Journal of Psychology: Society, 5(1), 82-92
  7. Johnson, C. E., & Petrie, T. A. (1995). The relationship of gender discrepancy to eating disorder attitudes and behaviors. Journal of Counseling Psychology, 43(4), 473-480
  8. Jones, W. H., Chernovetz, M. E., & Hansson, R. O. (1978). The enigma of androgyny: Differential implications for males and females? Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 46, 298-313
  9. Klingenspor, B. (2002). Gender-related self-discrepancies and bulimic eating behavior. Sex Roles, 47(1/2), 51-65
  10. Lenney, E. (1991). Chapter II. Sex roles: The measurement of masculinity, femininity, and androgyny. In 1. P. Robinson, P. R. Shaver, & L. S. Wrightsman (Eds.), Measures of personality and social psychological attitudes (pp. 573-660). San Diego, CA: Academic Press
  11. Mahalik, J. R., Morray, E. S., Coonerty-Ferniano, A., Ludlow, L. H., Slattery, S. M., & Smiler, A. (2005). Development of the Conformity to Feminine Norms Inventory. Sex Roles, 52(7/8), 417
  12. Marsh, H. W., & O'Niell, R. (1984). Self Description Questionnaire III (SDQIll): The construct validity of multidimensional self-concept ratings by late-adolescents. Journal of Educational Measurement, 21, 153-174
  13. McKinley, N. M., & Hyde, J. S. (1996). The Objectified Body Consciousness Scale: Development and validation. Psychology of Women Quarterly, 20,181-215
  14. Rosenberg, M. (1989). Society and the adolescent self image. Middleton, CT: Wesleyan University Press
  15. Steiner-Adair, C. (1990). The body politic. Normal female adolescent development and the development of eating disorders. In C. Gilligan, N. P. Lyons, & T. J. Hanmer (Eds.), Making connections (pp. 162-182). Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press
  16. Stowers, D. A., & Dunn, M.W. (1996). Does self-concept depend on body image? A gender analysis. Psychological Reports, 78,643-646
  17. Strauman, T. J., Vookles, J., Berenstein, v., Chaiken, S., & Higgins, E. T. (1991). Self-discrepancies and vulnera-bility to body dissatisfaction and disordered eating. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 61, 946-956
  18. Twenge. J. M. (1997). Changes in masculine and feminine traits over time: A meta-analysis. Sex Roles, 36(5/6). 305-325