1. Examine how the media portrays exercise and body image for men and women. Choose one popular women’s magazine and one popular men’s magazine (not fitness magazines). Compare the following across the two magazines:
- the number of references to exercise as a way to lose weight and change physical appearance
- the number of references to exercise as a way to improve health
- the number of advertisements and articles on diets and diet products
- the number of models whose bodies could be considered typical or representative of the general population
- the number of models whose bodies represent the ultra-trim and ultra-fit cultural ideal
2. Perform the following activities with your classmates:
- Ask students to complete the Appearance Evaluation and Drive for Muscularity scales. Have everyone tally their scores for each scale and then submit a brief report listing their scores, their sex, and the number of times per week that they exercise.
- Calculate the mean (average) score for each scale for the female students and for the male students. On what scales did the women score higher than the men? On what scales did the men score higher than the women? Did the men and women have similar scores on any of the scales? Discuss behavioral, biological, social, and psychological factors that might explain any differences or similarities in scale scores between men and women.
- Calculate the mean score for each body image scale for women who exercise at least three times per week and then for women who exercise two times or fewer per week. Repeat this procedure for the men. What trends do you notice when you compare female exercisers’ and nonexercisers’ body image scores? Do similar trends exist for the men? With reference to the Exercise and Self-Esteem Model, explain why differences may exist between exercisers’ and nonexercisers’ body image scores.
3. Obtain a copy of either the PSPP or the PSDQ (either from the appropriate reference in this chapter or from your instructor) and ask each member of the class to complete it. After properly scoring the questionnaire, ask your instructor to correlate each student’s questionnaire score and activity score (from Learning Activity 1 in Chapter 2). Discuss the results.
4. Review the scenario featuring Ashleigh at the beginning of the chapter. Suppose that she has asked you to design an exercise program for her. Based on the information in this chapter, what steps should you take in designing the program? Explain the rationale for your program.