Culture of thinness or protective effect
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Attractiveness level is an important aspect of dating in Western culture. Many previous researchers have shown that beauty is rewarded while those who do not follow the typical ideal may be disadvantaged. This typical ideal is the predominately white, middle class notion of thin as beautiful for women and muscular as ideal for men. Many researchers suggest this ideal is so prevalent that it dominates as the standard of beauty for all. However, other researchers say that bicultural groups like African Americans may through their unique cultural experience diffuse some of the effects these standards of beauty have on dating activities. Using this debate, this study seeks to ascertain how African-Americans young adults’ body perception affects their likelihood of dating. Results show that there is a possible protection effect because females who perceive themselves as underweight are the least likely to be dating or in a serious relationship. Results for males are less conclusive and require future research.