Degree Name

BS

Department

Psychology

College

Family, Home, and Social Sciences

Defense Date

2021-02-26

Publication Date

2021-03-19

First Faculty Advisor

Sarah M. Coyne, Ph.D.

First Faculty Reader

Dawn-Marie G. Wood, M.S.

Honors Coordinator

Bruce Brown, Ph.D.

Keywords

Latter-day Saint, Weight Stigma, Judgement, Weight Bias, Morality, Righteousness

Abstract

Weight stigma exists in many ways within our society, though how exactly it manifests in a religious context has not been well-researched. This study investigates the relationship between female body size and perceived morality among college-age Latter-day Saints. 260 Latter-day Saint BYU students between the ages of 18 and 30 were randomly assigned one of two surveys: one featuring the image of a larger-bodied woman and the other featuring the image of a smaller-bodied woman—both being similar in complexion and dress. The survey asked participants various questions regarding their assigned woman’s moral character, with items adapted from the Ethical Behavior Rating Scale (ERBS) (Hill & Swanson, 1985). Our analysis found significance when examining only female responses, t(213) = 1.98, p < .05. Thus, we found that college-age Latter-day Saint women did judge smaller-bodied females as being more moral than larger-bodied females.

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