- high BMI impacts sexual health negatively for both men and women (the study only seems to refer to heterosexual people but I can't really tell)
- both men and women with high BMIs are less likely to be sexually active than men and women with lower BMIs
- heterosexual people of both genders are likely to have a partner with a BMI in the same range as theirs, but it's more likely that a man will hook up with a partner of lower BMI than that a woman will
- men with high BMIs are more likely to report erectile dysfunction
- women with high BMIs are less likely to use oral contraception, to seek medical treatment in the area of sexual health, or to require their partner to use a condom in hetero interactions, resulting in higher rates of unplanned pregnancies
- some other stuff that I've forgotten since I read the articles this morning.
But I think there is something here we should pay attention to, and it's not the "obesity is a terrible pandemic sweeping the globe and obese people are bad and worthless and also totally backward sexually" message that articles like the one in Time are generally either straight-up saying or implying. It's also not the conclusion that is almost universally reached following these kinds of studies that the answer to all of this is for the obese people to put down the pizza and ice cream and lose some fucking weight already. No...the thing we should be paying attention to is the fact that many fat women are so beat down psychologically and have so thoroughly internalized the message that they are not sexual beings, that they don't deserve love and sexual fulfillment, and that their bodies are worthless and disgusting, that they often put their sexual health at risk. That is fucked. You know what else is fucked? The fact that many fat people have had such negative experiences with medical professionals that they would rather risk their sexual health than interact with them.
The fact that fat women are less likely to protect their sexual health is most definitely a matter of concern. It's most definitely a symptom of a larger problem. That problem isn't "the obesity epidemic." It's the shitty cultural attitudes and medical care that fat people encounter so often in their lives. This is a feminist issue y'all.