Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts



First Advisor

Dr. Barbara K. Sholley

Second Advisor

Dr. L. James Tromater

Third Advisor

Dr. Carol S. Wharton


One hundred and forty male and female students were given questionnaires which assessed their gender attitudes, their tanning and smoking behavior, their knowledge about and perceived personal risk of lung and skin cancer, and their beliefs that tanning and slenderness are attractive. A multivariate analysis of variance (MANOVA) revealed significant gender differences in tanning and in gender attitudes; women tanned more than men ... and women had more egalitarian attitudes toward gender than did men ... However, there were no differences between men and women in amount of weight-control smoking. A standard multiple regression revealed that the belief that tanning is attractive was the strongest predictor of tanning in both men and women, but for women, score on the Women in Society Questionnaire (WSQ) was also a significant predictor. The more traditional a woman's gender attitudes were, the more likely she was to tan. A discriminant analysis, however, showed that the only significant predictor of smoking in men and women was level of perceived personal risk. These results suggest that gender attitudes and drive for attractiveness played a role in tanning for women, but not in smoking. In men, gender attitudes affected neither tanning nor smoking.

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