One of the things women value most is the women breast size. But the body can be tricky to navigate. A new study on women and breast satisfaction found that it could impact your health.
This new study that was published in the journal Body Image, analyzed data from 18,541 women in 40 different countries who answered questions as part of a women breast size satisfaction survey about their ideal breast size, how they felt about their breasts and their overall breast health.
The survey used over 100 international experts and claims to be the largest cross-cultural study to look at body image that was ever conducted.
After analyzing the data, the researchers discovered that nearly 71% of women were not satisfied with the size of their breasts. Some – 48% – said they wanted larger breasts, while 23% said they wished they had smaller breasts. Only 29% of women were satisfied with their breast size.
The measure of ideal women breast size varied from country to country. Women in the UK, Egypt, China, Japan and Brazil were most likely to be dissatisfied with their breast size (women in the U.S. fell somewhere in the middle. Women in India, Lebanon, Pakistan, the UK and Egypt had the largest ideal breast size.
Women in the Philippines, Malaysia, Japan, Austria and Germany had the smallest ideal breast size.
It is not entirely shocking that most of the women are not satisfied with the size of the breasts, but the researchers also found that women who aren’t happy with their breast size were more likely to say they didn’t practice good breast health habits. That included doing breast self-exam and feeling confident about being able to detect changes in their breasts.
A study about breast perception can look kind of random, but it goes deeper than what women think of their breast. Dr. Swami, Ph.D., a professor of social psychology at Anglia Ruskin University in the UK says, “Low breast positivity can indicate other negative body issues for women. Women who were more dissatisfied with their breast size were also more likely to have low self-esteem and happiness, as well as more negative body image generally.”
Dr. Swami noted that women who were not happy with the size of their boobs were less likely to do breast self-exam, what is alarming is that if you don’t like something about your body, you are less likely to pay attention to it – that can be a problem.
When you are completely dissatisfied with your boobs, you have the potential to skip screenings and miss a lot of medical conditions that are treatable.
Overall, Swami recommends that women try to view their boobs for what they are – an important part of their bodies. Swami says, “Based on our findings, we urge women to focus more on the functionality of their breasts – to consider and appreciate the functions that breasts might perform – rather than their aesthetics.” But this is easier said than done, as the study suggests.