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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    • "La falta de sensibilidad de la actual concepción de los TCA podría explicar por qué la insatisfacción muscular y la motivación por la musculatura no son asociaciones confiables para la categorización de un trastorno . Así, estudios en hombres hetero y homosexuales han demostrado que la insatisfacción con la grasa corporal predice fuertemente un TCA, pero no se ha pesquisado tal asociación con la insatisfacción muscular (Blashill, 2010; Smith, Hawkeswood, Bodell y Joiner, 2011; Tylka, 2011; Tylka y Andorka, 2012). Aunque la tipificación del TDM ya se encuentra establecida en el DSM-5 (American Psychiatric Association, 2013), es válido mantener el planteamiento controversial de posible futura modificación. "
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    ABSTRACT: Background Among body image disorders, anorexia nervosa (AN) in females and muscle dysmorphia (MD) in males, emerge as the more representative. Objective To describe the relationship of clinical characteristics between AN and MD. Method A review of specialised textbooks and the available literature in Medline/PubMed and SciELO was made. Results There are similarities and differences between both disorders. They begin in adolescence, show a great diagnostic crossover, use/abuse of pharmacological drugs, similar co-morbidities, improvement with selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors and behavioural-cognitive psychotherapy, they are focused in body image, but AN pursuits thinness while MD muscle development. From a psychosocial perspective, body image disorders come out due to western socio-cultural pressures related to gender role stereotypes, which emphasise a slim feminine figure versus a vigorous masculine one. The nosological classification of MD is controversial and it has been including within the obsessive-compulsive spectrum of the DSM-5. Conclusions Both disorders imply body dissatisfaction with different degrees of body image distortion, even reaching delusional dimensions. Future studies are required which can lay the foundations of new categorisations of these disorders that better clarify their essence. © 2015 Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, Facultad de Estudios Superiores Iztacala.
    Full-text · Article · Nov 2015
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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.
    Full-text · Article · Oct 2015 · Psychology of Men & Masculinity
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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.
    Full-text · Article · Sep 2015 · Journal of Affective Disorders
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