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ERIC Number: EJ950728
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2011-Sep
Pages: 13
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 69
ISSN: ISSN-0361-6843
"It's a Comparison Thing, Isn't It?": Lesbian and Bisexual Women's Accounts of How Partner Relationships Shape Their Feelings about Their Body and Appearance
Huxley, Caroline J.; Clarke, Victoria; Halliwell, Emma
Psychology of Women Quarterly, v35 n3 p415-427 Sep 2011
Women's feelings about their body and their appearance are an important aspect of their lives, yet little is known about the ways in which partner relationships shape these feelings. There has been some debate about whether or not same-sex relationships offer protection to nonheterosexual (lesbian and bisexual) women from potentially harmful social appearance pressures, but there has been little empirical exploration of this issue. We contribute to the debate by presenting findings from a British qualitative study based on interviews with 15 nonheterosexual women talking about their feelings about their bodies and their appearance in the context of partner relationships. These accounts were analyzed using a phenomenologically oriented form of thematic analysis (TA) and seven main themes were generated. The women suggested that same-sex relationships were both positive and negative influences in shaping their feelings about their body and appearance, highlighting the complexity of this issue. However, positive descriptions of empathy toward body and appearance concerns as well as diversity within same-sex attractions suggest that same-sex relationships have the potential to encourage women to feel happier with their bodies. This analysis also suggests that the theoretical debate is too simplistic and that a synthesized explanation should be explored in future research.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A