Research indicates that 40 % of men experience weight-related stigmatization. Yet perceptions of body size continue to be understudied in men and the stereotype content of men’s weight status remains largely unknown. Grounded in Stereotype Content Model, the research aims to uncover men’s stereotype content associated with distinct body sizes. A pilot study tested the methodological design using a representative measure of BMI-specific images among a sample of undergraduate men (N = 80). Study 1 included the BMI-specific images to assess stereotype content among a broad online sample (N = 142) and explored how participant BMI relates to such perceptions. Study 2 included images of real men to increase the ecological validity of our findings (N = 152). We also included empathy and protestant ethics to examine possible interaction effects. Results revealed that normal to overweight men scored highest on warmth and competence, while underweight and obese classes were perceived less favorably and, evidently, stereotype perceptions were increasingly severe with adiposity. Empathy moderated evaluations of warmth toward stigmatized groups, and protestant ethics moderated warmth appraisals for underweight and normal weight targets but did not influence perceptions of competence. Overall, weight stereotype content should be considered when understanding stigma-related experiences in men.
About The Expert