The effects of exposure to feminist ideology on women's body image

Rachel D. Peterson, Stacey Tantleff-Dunn, Jeffrey S. Bedwell

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

38 Scopus citations


Body image disturbance has become a common problem among women and there is a need to focus on creating empirically supported treatments. Psychoeducational interventions have reduced body image dissatisfaction, but their impact is limited because they do not offer women adaptive methods of interpreting the many appearance-related messages they receive. This study examined if exposure to a feminist perspective may provide alternative interpretations of cultural messages, thereby increasing body image satisfaction. Participants were randomly assigned to a feminist or psychoeducational intervention, or a control group. Exposure to the feminist condition resulted in increased self-identification as a feminist and greater appearance satisfaction, and changes in feminist identity were related to positive changes in body image. The findings indicate that exposure to feminist theories may serve as an effective intervention strategy.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)237-246
Number of pages10
JournalBody Image
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 2006
Externally publishedYes


  • Body image
  • Feminist
  • Intervention
  • Physical appearance
  • Treatment


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