Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)



First Advisor

Donald J. Grandgenett

Second Advisor

John Wanzenried

Third Advisor

John K. Brilhardt


The subject of female somatotypes Is one which has been largely neglected. No studies to date have used the female somatotypes. This study of college students measured character traits attributed to the three different female somatotype silhouettes; endomorph, mesomorph, ectomorph. Sixty undergraduate students were asked to rate the three female somatotype silhouettes on a list of twentyfour bi-polar adjective scales. In only one case did males and females disagree significantly on what trait should be assigned to a particular body type. The subjects rated the three silhouettes differently on fourteen of the twenty-four adjectival scales. In most cases the male and female subjects rated the silhouettes the same way. However, orthogonal varimax factor analysis of the twenty-four scales revealed that while males and females may agree I on ratings, the male and female subjects weight and group adjectives much differently. Overall, four major factors emerged and were labeled the parent-child factor, the activity factor, the plain-glamorous factor, and the extrovert-introvert factor. This gives evidence to support the hypothesis that males and females perceive female body types differently, although the subjects- in this study rated the body types similarly on the individual scales.

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