Self-recognition of the body and its parts during late adolescence

John K. Collins*

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    5 Citations (Scopus)


    Male and female student volunteers were photographed nude in three orientations: front, side, and rear. One month later, they were asked to identify their bodies or bodily parts from an array of seven photographs grouped according to height and linearity. Thirty judgments of the full body, multiple parts, and single parts were made, including the head, thorax, abdomen, arms and legs, as well as the torso and top and bottom halves of the body. Females took significantly longer to identify themselves than did males and frontal identifications were carried out quicker than rear identifications, which in turn were judged quicker than side orientations. The breasts were found to be the most important secondary sexual characteristic for females, and bodily hair for males. The genitals were judged quickly and accurately by males. The results are discussed in terms of ego involvement, narcissism, and the increased attention given to the body during adolescence.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)243-254
    Number of pages12
    JournalJournal of Youth and Adolescence
    Issue number3
    Publication statusPublished - Jun 1981

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