Considering the relatively high level of media interest in the so-called ‘Thigh Gap’ phenomenon over the last few years, it’s perhaps surprising that very few scientific researchers appear to have looked into it. Improbable has managed to find only one experimental study, undertaken by Khyati Maheshkumar Ganatra of the Sally McDonnell Barksdale Honors College at the University of Mississippi, and published in 2014. The research was conducted to find out if a difference exists between males and females regarding their preferences for (or against) thigh gaps. Ganatra showed 148 participants (84F, 64M) the nine images below –
– and asked them to rate the following statements according to applicability.
I have a thigh gap and love it
I have a thigh gap and hate it
I don’t have a thigh gap but would like one
I don’t have a thigh gap and would not like one
I couldn’t care less about the thigh gap
Analysis of the results revealed the following :
“Overall, there seems to be one main conclusion based on the results of the participants’ reported responses. That is, there does not appear to be a difference between men and women’s reported preferences for a thigh gap in the female silhouettes used in the present study.”
see: ‘Analysis of Body Type Preferences Among Young Adults’
Non-experimental academic scrutiny of the phenomenon is also quite rare. See one of the few examples (in French, from le Journal Français de Psychiatrie, 2015 /1, n° 41) ‘De Body art en phénomène du thigh gap : monstration de corps, présentation de « moi »’ by Catherine Desprats-Péquignot.
Du désir et du sujet divisé …
… à la jouissance et au mirage du « moi-corps »
My thigh gap is myself