A study conducted by YouGov surveyed 2,271 UK respondents aged 16 and over for its body image project and found that 61%of respondents said their feelings about their body affected sexual relationships. Even more concerning, one in seven adults said this feeling of inadequacy was constant.
Men and women both affected
The survey also found that 21% of women and 11% of men worry a great deal about what their partner thinks of their body. Another 43% of women and 39% of men said they are 'somewhat bothered' by this. Three in ten women under 40 said they were very concerned about their partner's views on their appearance.
The research has ultimately concluded that as people get older they are less likely to report their sex lives being negatively affected by body confidence issues. However, the gap between women and men is still very clear.
Women even more pressured
According to the study, women are more likely than men to feel that physical appearance matters 'a great deal', and feel pressured to have a certain body type. Ammanda Major, a sex and relationship therapist explains how women were constantly bombarded with unrealistic expectations:
People are consistently surrounded by images of perfect bodies, perfect everything in the media, in films, on social media, and it can be an insidious thing. Gradually they start 'to form a belief that you're not OK unless you are doing everything you can do to look a certain way.
I think that's what becomes the pressure—people telling themselves they're not good enough because they don't look like stuff they are seeing on social media or wherever.
So there is something around standing back and learning to love that person in the mirror – because that person is very likely absolutely fine.