Demographic and sociocultural predictors of sexuality-related body image and sexual frequency: The U.S. Body Project I

David A. Frederick, Allegra R. Gordon, Catherine P. Cook-Cottone, John P. Brady, Tania A. Reynolds, Jenna Alley, Justin R. Garcia, Tiffany A. Brown, Emilio J. Compte, Lexie Convertino, Canice E. Crerand, Vanessa L. Malcarne, Jason M. Nagata, Michael C. Parent, Jamie Lee Pennesi, Marisol Perez, Eva Pila, Rachel F. Rodgers, Lauren M. Schaefer, J. Kevin ThompsonTracy L. Tylka, Stuart B. Murray

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations


Body image is a critical component of an individual's sexual experiences. This makes it critical to identify demographic and sociocultural correlates of sexuality-related body image: the subjective feelings, cognitions, and evaluations related to one's body in the context of sexual experience. We examined how sexuality-related body image differed by gender, sexual orientation, race, age, and BMI. Four items assessing sexuality-related body image were completed by 11,620 U.S. adults: self-perceived sex appeal of their body, nude appearance satisfaction, and the extent to which they believed that body image positively or negatively affected their sexual enjoyment and feelings of sexual acceptability as a partner. Men reported slightly less nude appearance dissatisfaction and fewer negative effects of body image on sexual enjoyment and sexual acceptability than women, but did not differ in reported sex appeal. Poorer sexuality-related body image was reported by people with higher BMIs, not in relationships, who had sex less frequently, among White compared to Black women and men, and among gay compared to heterosexual men. Data also revealed a subgroup of respondents who reported that their body image had a positive impact on their sex lives. The findings highlight a need for interventions addressing sexuality-related body image.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)109-127
Number of pages19
JournalBody Image
StatePublished - Jun 2022
Externally publishedYes


  • Body Image
  • Gender
  • Positive Body Image
  • Sexual Attitudes
  • Sexual Orientation
  • Sexual Satisfaction


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