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Durham University

Research & business

Research lectures, seminars and events

The events listed in this area are research seminars, workshops and lectures hosted by Durham University departments and research institutes. If you are not a member of the University, but  wish to enquire about attending one of the events please contact the organiser or host department.


Departmental Seminar: Cultural and ecological predictors of face and body ideals in the context of rapid globalisation

Presented by Lynda Boothroyd, Department of Psychology, Durham University
13 November 2019 15:00 in D110, Dawson Building

Cross-cultural studies have found a preference for heavier bodies in populations with reduced access to visual media and increased nutritional stress compared to Western populations. Similarly, early exposure to faces of a given ethnicity can lead to a cognitive processing advantage for such faces in later years. As such there is significant need for further research which unpicks the drivers of cross-cultural variation in beauty ideals. I will discuss data from research examining these issues in a Nicaraguan population experiencing significant changes in media access and broader globalisation. Using a range of converging methodologies, television consumption emerges as a predictor of body weight ideals both across and within participants, while education (perhaps indexing early exposure) affects both facial ethnicity and body weight ideals. Nutritional stress, however, shows very weak associations with any ideals. These results are discussed in the context of bio-cultural impacts on attraction and well-being.

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