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May 22, 2007

Fat Lesbians

Remarkably, (via) it appears that lesbians are more than twice as likely to be fat as heterosexual women:

Ulrike Boehmer of the Boston University School of Public Health and colleagues looked at a 2002 national survey of almost 6000 women, and found that lesbians were 2.69 times more likely to be overweight and 2.47 times more likely to be obese.

“Lesbians have more than twice the odds of (being) overweight,” the authors wrote.

Such a finding of course means that those who are overweight in this manner are more at risk of heart trouble and diabetes, as the researchers point out.

Now my purpose in highlighting this is not (only) to have a snigger about stereotypes but (also) to ask a slightly more serious question:

They reviewed smaller studies that have suggested a higher prevalence of obesity among lesbians and the possible reasons why.

“The results of these studies indicate that lesbian women have a better body image than do heterosexual women,” they wrote.

Now yes, I do realize that it's one of the tropes about the Patriarchy, that we men force heterosexual women into starving themselves by our oppression and mind waves so that we can impose upon them our own ideals of the female shape, thus creating the well known situation where women have a bad "body image" and are thus brainwashed by....sorry, I can't quite keep that going, I haven't read enough of my cousin's book, obviously.

So here's the question. How is a body image that increases the risks of heart disease and diabetes "better"?

For extra points, an answer to this one would also be nice. Given that I am myself on the very definitely porky side, does this mean that I am in fact a lesbian trapped in a man's body? In touch with my feminine side? Or just fat?

May 22, 2007 in Sex | Permalink


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Doesn't surprise me, but then again, S&M has uncovered something that says employers don't like employing fat women (surprise!) and hence thsi explains correlation between fat and poor.

But, you are always saying that lower wages for women can be largely explained by years off for children, and somebody somewhere worked out that lesbians have on the whole higher wages than other women (which makes sense).

But who is clever enough to control for all these factors? Lesbian = better paid (fewer kids) but also lesbian = fat = lower paid (don't get so many job offers).

Posted by: Mark Wadsworth | May 22, 2007 11:03:45 AM

Nah, you're just fat.

You can fix it with some basic food energy economics: calories in, calories out. If you can handle international Scandium futures, you can do addy-ups and takey-aways.

Tim adds: Indeed, that's what the bicycle is for. That 120 km a week does help...

Posted by: Kay Tie | May 22, 2007 11:24:13 AM

"Indeed, that's what the bicycle is for. That 120 km a week does help..."

You have a heart-rate monitor (e.g. Polar watch)? I run a "one for the fat, one for the food" policy of eating half the calories I burn. It's some motivation to know that you've just earned a Mars Bar with a damned fine espresso.

Tim adds: No where near that advanced. A second hand mountain bike (all of €50 a few years back...a little odd as I sell the metal that makes the very high end scandium bikes.) and an hour three or four times a week puffing up and down the hills to Algoz or Silves.

Posted by: Kay Tie | May 22, 2007 11:45:20 AM

With due respect, Tim, this is nonsense.

All the lesbians I'm familiar with are extremely slim, albeit with large chests.

Even when I use the DVD's zoom function, they're impeccably proportioned.

Posted by: Mr Eugenides | May 22, 2007 12:56:45 PM

"Better" might mean more accurate, or less prone to anxiety about appearance, rather than issues of health.

Posted by: Marcin Tustin | May 22, 2007 2:20:26 PM

Ach, come on, Timmy: you're not fat. Bit of middle-age spread maybe, but you're hardly Dawn French...



Posted by: Devil's Kitchen | May 22, 2007 7:34:57 PM

One could draw an alternative conclusion: fat women are more likely to be lesbians.

Posted by: DocBud | May 23, 2007 12:08:15 AM