Differences Between Mirror Gazing, Gender, And Self Esteem, Body Dysmorphic Disorder

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Abstract Gender differences in mirror gazing were studied at Montclair State University. The purpose of the study was to determine whether females were more likely to look in the mirror than males. Females and males were observed at two locations on campus where reflective surfaces were available. Students recorded whether or not a female or male looked at his/her reflection at the reflective surface. The results of the study revealed that there were more females than males who had looked at their reflection. Females are more likely to have self-esteem issues and it is possible that these findings are because of this distinction. Excessive mirror gazing may also be a result of issues with body image, such as body dysmorphic disorder.…show more content…
An individual with high body dissatisfaction might obsessively look into the mirror to focus on his/her imperfections that need to be improved or changed. Self-esteem also plays a role in body perception. The way we view ourselves affects the way we feel about ourselves. Individuals with high self-esteem often have a positive body perception (Wasylkiw, MacKinnon, & MacLellan, 2012). In our society, thin bodies are ideal for women and muscular bodies are considered ideal for men. These ideal body images may be difficult to obtain and therefore men and women may begin to feel negatively about themselves. A study was conducted in 2011 that examined body size perception in students at Pennsylvania State University. Students who did not perceive themselves as having their ideal body image, reported having lower self-esteem and feelings of shame. Females reported that they needed to be thinner while males reported needing to be bigger and stronger. Female students were also reported to have higher discrepancies between their ideal body and their actual body and therefore had lower self-esteem. Negative body perception not only caused lower self-esteem, but also ratings of attractiveness (Gillen & Lefkowitz, 2011). Issues with self-esteem may cause higher rates of mirror gazing because of a greater focus on flaws in body perception. There also other psychological reasons that can lead an individual to
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