The Eating Disorders In Gay Men Sociology Essay Essay

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In the 1970s psychologists and head-shrinkers became cognizant of a upseting new tendency with in the homosexual community. There appeared to be an increased prevalence of eating upsets and organic structure image issues afflicting homosexuals work forces when compared to heterosexual males, with the younger cheery work forces looking to be more at hazard than the older 1s. Harmonizing to the statistics provided by the Renfrew Center Foundation for Eating Disorders 14 % of cheery work forces suffer from binge-eating syndrome and 20 % suffer from anorexia nervosa, nevertheless among all work forces enduring from eating upsets 10-42 % have identified themselves to be homosexual or bisexual ( Cohen ) .

Homosexuals live in a civilization that does non excuse their sexual orientation ; they besides face rejection by their friends and household and banishment by the society by virtuousness of their homosexualism. The stigma attached to homosexualism encourages the prolongation of homophobic intimidation, bias and torment. Turning up within a mostly heterosexual society which is critical of any divergence from the prescribed gender function normally consequences in an internalisation of anti-gay stigma experienced by cheery work forces. This excessively promotes eating upsets in an enterprise to look masculine and strong as opposed to the stereotyped homosexual image of “ effeminate ” and “ pantywaist. ”

Research conducted over the old ages has pointed towards the function of the media being instrumental in the prevalence of eating upsets within homosexual community. Popular media beginnings include work forces ‘s wellness magazines, dating service advertizements, professional athleticss participants, erotica, and plaything statuettes to call a few. Media reinforces the societal outlooks as all the work forces in advertisement directed at cheery work forces look identical-lean with a defined thorax, washboard abdominal musculuss ( “ acrylonitrile-butadiene-styrenes ” ) and an absence of organic structure hair ( Kvasager ) .

Gay erotica which is to a great extent consumed by the cheery population uses histrions who fit the same description. The resonant message is crystal clear-you will non happen love, success and credence until you look like an ideal male. The impact of the media most strongly affects those most disgruntled with their organic structures and therefore cheery work forces see hapless organic structure image credence due to images they observe in the media and are most susceptible to indulge in hazardous behaviours. These identified behaviours include over feeding, restricted feeding, purge, inordinate exercising, plastic surgery and the usage of steroids to recognize the perfect male organic structure. With an “ increased handiness, ” to the media “ unachievable stereotypes and icons, ” are created that allow companies to “ sell merchandise. ” With an addition in consumerism, stereotypes are reinforced and the rhythm continues because “ media is the topographic point people go to reply the inquiry of who am I? ” Meeting this iconic ideal in some or all ways leads to multiple degrees of credence within society. The homosexual community or civilization is peculiarly influenced by the media rendering of the ideal male organic structure and there exists a rough competition to incarnate the stiff criterions of male beauty, a procedure that escalates the inclination among cheery work forces to believe that muscularity will allow societal and sexual desirableness and power. Consequently cheery work forces are socialized by the cheery subculture to be fixated on their visual aspect. Therefore media reinforces dysfunctional behaviour such as eating upsets within the homosexual population since it generates feelings of insufficiency and lower status when compared to what people see on the media.

Gay work forces ‘s sexual orientation is a 2nd factor that leads to an increased hazard of developing eating upsets. Harmonizing to Dr. Meyer “ eating upsets are likely to ensue from a mixture of familial factors and environmental factors. These factors being intimidation, or stigmatisation during their early old ages ” . Other causes for eating upsets are low self-esteem, deficiency of control of one ‘s life, depression, anxiousness, choler or solitariness. It is really good known that homosexual people are bullied for being homosexual. This is really true particularly for younger childs or immature grownups. There have been instances where immature homosexual childs have been beaten up, killed and even committed self-destruction because they were being bullied for who they are. Dan Savages gave grounds of this when he started a motion after seven homosexual teens in a Minnesota community committed self-destruction in 2010.

Another issue that goes a long with homosexual ‘s sexual orientation is holding to “ come out ” about their sexual orientation. Having to state their household members and friends they are cheery can do a batch of anxiousness. Any homosexual will state you that the “ coming out ” procedure is non something they look frontward excessively because there is ever a opportunity their household members could dis-own them and they could lose friends. This procedure can besides do depression which is another cause of eating upsets. Doctors have found that people use nutrient and the control of nutrient in an effort to cover with feelings or anxiousnesss that are excessively over overpowering for them to cover with. Some times when a state of affairs is out of control and a individual can non command that state of affairs they find comfort in making something that they have control over which, is nutrient and feeding.

Not merely do homosexuals work forces have to worry about deriving credence from the heterosexual society they have to worry about deriving credence from other cheery work forces through their visual aspect. The cheery civilization is one that has been built on visual aspect and the perceptual experience of the perfect male who is clean cut, good dressed and physically fit. Shopping, watering place interventions, and the gym are what people imagine from cheery work forces and homosexual work forces have allowed this to put into their outlook so that they, like the straight persons, justice other cheery work forces on the same criterions.

A 3rd factor is the function played by homosexual community and civilization in advancing unrealistic organic structure image in cheery work forces. The media portrays most cheery work forces as really bantam and effeminate ; nevertheless there are different subcultures of cheery work forces all of which are based on physical visual aspect. In the cheery civilization there are slang footings given to gay work forces for their physical visual aspect and penchant ; twinks, bears, and musculus Queenss. The twink is known as the “ typical ” homosexual adult male who is really thin, effeminate and about male childs like in visual aspect. The bear is a cheery adult male described as larger or even a chubby adult male who embraces being thicker, hairy and more masculine. The musculus Queenss are the cheery work forces that are obsessed with their builds and visual aspect. They could closely be identified with metrosexual heterosexual males. The three footings are all used largely to place the homosexual work forces in a sexual nature. Harmonizing to the Mayo Clinic, cheery work forces are more disposed to see their organic structures as sexual objects which can take to body dissatisfaction. Another factor that could do cheery work forces to hold a bad organic structure image is the cheery dark or saloon scene. Most cheery work forces go to the homosexual bars because they are topographic points where they can travel to get away homophobia and bias. However, most dark nines are based on a sexual ambiance where being attractive is the chief manner to be accepted ( Health ) .

Internalized homophobia represents a signifier of emphasis that is internal and insidious. In the absence of open negative events, and even if one ‘s minority position is successfully concealed, tribades and homosexuals work forces may be harmed by directing negative societal values toward the ego. Clinicians use the term internalized homophobia to mention to the internalisation of social antigay attitudes in tribades and cheery work forces. The writer defined internalized homophobia as “ the homosexual individual ‘s way of negative societal attitudes toward the ego, taking to a devaluation of the ego and attendant internal struggles and hapless dignity ” . After they accept their stigmatized sexual orientation, sapphic, homosexual, and bi-sexual people begin a procedure of coming out. Hopefully, through this procedure they come to footings with their homosexualism and develop a healthy individuality that incorporates their gender. Internalized homophobia signifies the failure of the coming out procedure to guard off stigma and exhaustively overcome negative self-perceptions and attitudes.

Although it is most acute early in the coming out procedure, it is improbable that internalized homophobia wholly leaves even when the individual has accepted his or her homosexualism. Because of the strength of early socialisation experiences, and because of continued exposure to antigay attitudes, internalized homophobia remains an of import factor in the cheery individual ‘s psychological accommodation throughout life. Gay people maintain changing grades of residuary antigay attitudes that are integrated into their self-perception that can take to mental wellness jobs. The writer called such residuary internalized homophobia covert. He besides said covert signifiers of internalized homophobia are the most common. Affected persons appear to accept themselves, yet undermine their ain attempts in a assortment of ways.

The writer reviewed the literature on internalized homophobia and described the broad usage of the term in homosexual and sapphic surveies and gay-affirmative psychotherapeutic theoretical accounts. He noted the entreaty of internalized homophobia to about all cheery work forces and tribades. Much of the literature on internalized homophobia has come from theoretical Hagiographas and clinical observations, but some research has been published. Despite important challenges to mensurating internalized homophobia and deficiency of consistence in its conceptualisation and measuring, research has shown that internalized homophobia is a important correlative of mental wellness including depression and anxiousness symptoms, substance usage upsets, and suicide ideation. Research has besides suggested a relationship between internalized homophobia and assorted signifiers of self-harm, including eating upsets and HIV-risk-taking behaviours. Other research showed that internalized homophobia was related to troubles with intimate relationships and sexual operation.

Research has indicated that homosexual males are susceptible to eating upsets due to a greater accent on physical visual aspect and organic structure dissatisfaction. However, in world, most everyone, irrespective of sexual penchant, gender or race trade with this issue. Most psychologists would hold that eating upsets are a contemplation of low self-esteem and a deficiency of sense of control over their life. Harmonizing to Carlat and Carmargo, “ there is persuasive grounds that male bulimics have a higher prevalence of homosexualism and that homosexualism acts as a hazard factor for binge-eating syndrome in males. ” So why are cheery work forces more vulnerable to eating upsets? Several surveies have indicated that males with eating upsets tend to be homosexual ; these surveies have besides revealed that these patients have reported sexual isolation and conflicting insecurities about their gender ( Cohen ) . Homosexuality in work forces is non easy accepted by many, it has even gone so far as to set labels on cheery work forces such as kinky or paedophiles ; this has forced many homosexuals work forces to experience that they are somehow “ bad ” or “ disturbed. ” Due to these labels and negative intensions, homosexual work forces anticipate rejection ( Cohen ) . This force per unit area entirely is believed to be a triping factor in the elevated degree of homosexual work forces holding eating upsets. The feelings that this force per unit area and rejection brings cause many homosexuals work forces to hold lower self-pride ensuing in eating upsets.


Cohen, M. ( 1997 ) . Eating upsets in homosexual work forces – current issues. Retrieved from hypertext transfer protocol: //

“ Health Issues for Gay Men. ” Mayo Clinic. N.p. , 24 Sept. 2011. Web. 18 Apr. 2012. & lt ; hypertext transfer protocol: // & gt ; .

Hugh, C. M. ( 2012 ) . Gay work forces at increased hazard for eating upsets. Retrieved from hypertext transfer protocol: //

Kavasgar, L.S. , ( 2008 ) . Media ‘s consequence on the prevalence of eating disorder behaviour among cheery work forces. unpublished doctorial thesis ) . California State University, Sacramento.

Mathews, T. ( 2006 ) . “ coming out: ” gay work forces and eating upsets. Retrieved from hypertext transfer protocol: //

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Myer.H. , ( 2007 ) Prejudice, Social Stress, and Mental Health in Lesbian, Gay, and Bisexual Populations: Conceptual Issues and Research Evidence. Columbia University. hypertext transfer protocol: //

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