Male Body Talk: Investigating Fat Talk and Muscle Talk in a Romantic Context

Kimberly S. Daniels

Major Professor: Gary L. Kreps, PhD, Department of Communication

Committee Members: Kevin B. Wright, Richard T. Craig

Online Location,
June 30, 2021, 12:00 PM to 02:00 PM


This study investigates the effect that engaging in fat talk or muscle talk has on perceptions of males in romantic relationships. Sexual satisfaction, body image, and relationship satisfaction are examined in relation to fat talk and muscle talk to better understand how this form of communication operates in a romantic setting. An experimental survey design tested heterosexual female participants who listened to audio recordings of male fat talk, and male muscle talk. Results showed that fat talk limited the perceptions of sexual satisfaction, body image, and relationship satisfaction. Surprisingly muscle talk was viewed as more desirable than neutral talk. Implications for the research are discussed.