Elements of male body image: Prediction of depression, eating pathology and social sensitivity among gay men

Psychology Department, Saint Louis University, MO 63103, United States.
Body image (Impact Factor: 2.19). 09/2010; 7(4):310-6. DOI: 10.1016/j.bodyim.2010.07.006
Source: PubMed


The aim of the current study was to assess the relative uniqueness of three components of male body image (i.e., muscle, body fat, and height dissatisfaction) in the prediction of indices of psychological distress (i.e., depression, eating restraint, eating concerns, and social sensitivity) among a community sample of 228 gay men. Results indicated that body fat dissatisfaction was predictive of all four criterion variables (controlling for muscle dissatisfaction). Conversely, muscle dissatisfaction was only associated with social sensitivity, while height dissatisfaction failed to significantly predict any of the criterion variables. These findings highlight the relative importance of body fat dissatisfaction among gay men and suggest that researchers and clinicians working with this population should utilize measures which include assessment of both muscularity and body fat.

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    • "Similarly, a meta-analysis of 27 studies (d ϭ 0.74) investigating body image satisfaction among heterosexual men and women, lesbians, and gay men confirms that gay men (n ϭ 984) are more vulnerable to body image dissatisfaction compared to heterosexual men (n ϭ 1,397; Morrison, Morrison, & Sager, 2004). Body image dissatisfaction among GBM has been associated with symptoms of depression (Blashill, 2010; Olivardia, Pope, Borowiecki, & Cohane, 2004), appearance-related anxiety (Blashill, 2010), and disordered eating symptomology (Blashill, 2010). A study of GBM (n ϭ 304) suggests that men who reported more symptoms of muscle dysmorphia also reported lower selfesteem and increased feeling of loneliness, than men who reported fewer muscle dysmorphia symptoms (Chaney, 2008). "
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    ABSTRACT: Previous research has highlighted the association between HIV sexual risk behaviors, muscularity concerns, and masculinity among gay and bisexual men (GBM). A few studies that explored these issues, however, have used relatively small sample sizes and predominantly White GBM samples. In addition, little is known about whether a drive for muscularity and perceptions of masculinity are associated with HIV sexual risk behaviors among GBM of color. This community-based study examined the association between drive for muscularity, masculinity, and HIV sexual risk among a sample of 389 GBM of color in Toronto. In multivariable analyses, drive for muscularity and masculinity were significantly associated with HIV sexual risk, after controlling for sociodemographic variables and internalized homophobia. Findings suggest that a desire to be more muscular or a disappointment with one's musculature, as well as an endorsement of body image and penis size as indicators of masculinity may play a role in HIV sexual risk behaviors. This study is among the first to examine the role of drive for muscularity and notions of masculinity in relation to HIV sexual risk exclusively among an ethnoracially diverse sample of GBM. Further research is needed to better understand the link between body image and masculinity to reduce HIV risk among GBM of color.
    Psychology of Men & Masculinity 10/2015; 16(4). DOI:10.1037/a0038725 · 2.08 Impact Factor
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    • "Appearance evaluations may be either subjective (i.e., an individual's evaluation of their appearance), or objective (i.e., an outside rating of an individual's appearance). Traditionally, subjective appearance evaluations have been studied among heterosexual women; however, there is growing data highlighting the salience of this construct, and its association with depression, across sex and sexual orientation (e.g., Blashill, 2010; Fabian and Thompson, 1989; Jackson et al., 2014; Paxton et al., 2006). "
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    ABSTRACT: Objective: A commonly held belief about physical attractiveness is that attractive individuals are psychologically healthier than less attractive individuals (i.e., the "beauty is good" stereotype). To date, the data on this stereotype and its relationship with depression is limited, with a paucity of literature comparing subjective and objective appearance evaluations and depressive symptoms. Additionally, there is no known research on this relationship among sexual minorities (i.e., gay and bisexual individuals), a highly vulnerable population. The primary aims of the study were to assess the prediction of depression symptoms by subjective and objective appearance evaluation, and secondary aims were to assess the interaction of subjective and objective appearance with sexual orientation. Method: Participants were 4882 American emerging adults (M age=22 years; 2253 males, 2629 females) taken from a U.S. nationally representative dataset (Add Health) RESULTS: Increased negative subjective appearance evaluation was associated with elevated rates of depressive symptoms (B=-.27, p<.001), while objective appearance evaluation was not significantly related to depressive symptoms. Sexual orientation significantly moderated the relationship between subjective appearance and depression (B=.19, p=.009), with a stronger positive association between negative appearance evaluation and depressive symptoms noted among sexual minority vs. heterosexual participants. Limitations: Limitations include cross-sectional design and self-report nature of questionnaires. Conclusions: Findings suggest that the 'beauty is good' stereotype may not be valid in regard to depressive symptoms, and that subjective appearance evaluation is a robust predictor of depression, particularly for sexual minority individuals.
    Journal of Affective Disorders 09/2015; 189:70-76. DOI:10.1016/j.jad.2015.08.071 · 3.38 Impact Factor
    • "Future studies ought to include samples with a broader range of ethnicities and sexual orientations. Given that gay men have been found to engage in more frequent body comparisons than heterosexual men (Blashill, 2010), it would be interesting to compare men with different sexual orientations in terms of various factors associated with the model. Future studies should also monitor which recruitment source each participant comes from in order to more accurately describe the sample. "
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    ABSTRACT: This study tested a modified Tripartite Influence Model with 307 men (age M=27.05; SD=6.25). Sociocultural influences (media and male peers) were predicted to be associated with both internalisation of the muscular ideal and body comparisons, which in turn were predicted to be associated with muscle dissatisfaction and then drive for muscularity behaviours. The model was only partially supported. The results suggested that, contrary to what was predicted, muscle dissatisfaction was not related to drive for muscularity behaviours. Instead, internalisation of the muscular ideal was found to lead to body comparisons, which in turn were found to lead to drive for muscularity behaviours. In addition, internalisation and male peer influence were found to lead to muscle dissatisfaction; male peer influence and internalisation were found to lead to body comparisons; and both media and male peer influences were found to lead to internalisation. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
    Body image 08/2015; 15:72-80. DOI:10.1016/j.bodyim.2015.07.002 · 2.19 Impact Factor
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