The effects of sexual and religious orientations on memory for weight-related stimuli

2016 IJRSP – Volume 5 Issue 3


Chung, Christie*
Mills College, USA (

Dees, Chelsea
Mills College, USA (


Women are often socialized to adhere to an ideal of thinness, although recent research has shown that sexual orientation and religious beliefs may moderate body dissatisfaction and disordered eating symptoms. The present study examined the effects of religious and sexual orientations on memory for weight-related stimuli. The main research question was whether sexual and religious orientations would affect the recall of pictures, whether they are weight-related, neutral, or intrusions. Young college women (aged 18-30), of different sexual and religious orientations, participated in an incidental memory test consisting of weight-related and neutral pictures shown on a computer screen. Participants were also asked to complete a series of questionnaires and scales. Results indicated that religious, heterosexual participants recalled more intrusions than non-religious, heterosexual participants. Furthermore, religious orientation affected the number of weight-related intrusions recalled.

Keywords: weight consciousness; memory; religious orientation; sexual orientation



*Corresponding Author