Hilary Glover (see footnote) has kindly provided the thoughts for this new bloggy.
Feeling like a "real man" is higher in men with muscle dysmorphia, popularly
called ‘bigorexia’, than other gym users. On the other hand, male patients with anorexia
nervosa had elevated association with feminine stereotypes, according to research in
Biomed Central’s open access journal Journal of Eating Disorders.
Research over the last several decades shows that more and more men admit to being unhappy with their body image. This may show itself in
either a desire to lose weight and become thinner, or to gain weight and become
more muscular. This can become harmful when the person eats unhealthily or
abuses steroids, or when the compulsion for exercise can override normal life
resulting in loss of sleep, quality of life, and even in an inability to hold a
Previously it has been thought that sexual confusion was one of the main driving
forces behind body dysmorphia in men. But this study suggests that how men view
themselves is more important.
Researchers from the Australian National University and University of Sydney
used a questionnaire designed to identify how the study participants viewed
themselves in comparison to culturally accepted stereotypes of masculine
thoughts and behaviors. The results showed that men with a high drive for
muscularity (as in muscle dysmorphia) had a greater preference for traditional
masculine roles, whereas men with a high desire for thinness (as in anorexia
nervosa) displayed greater adherence to traditional feminine roles.
Dr Stuart Murray from the Redleaf Practice, who led this study, explained,
“This does not mean that that the men with anorexia were any less masculine,
nor that the men with muscle dysmorphia were less feminine than the control
subjects we recruited. It is however an indication of the increasing pressures
men are under to define their masculinity in the modern world.”
- ENDS -
Dr Hilary Glover
Scientific Press Officer, BioMed Central
1. Masculinity and femininity in the divergence of male body image concerns
Stuart B Murray, Elizabeth Rieger, Lisa Karlov and Stephen W Touyz
Journal of Eating Disorders (in press)
Please name the journal in any story you write. If you are writing for the web,
please link to the article. All articles are available free of charge,
according to BioMed Central’s open access policy.
Article citation and URL available on request on the day of publication.
2. Journal of Eating Disorders is the first open access, peer-reviewed journal
publishing leading research in the science and clinical practice of eating
3. BioMed Central (http://www.biomedcentral.com/)
is an STM (Science, Technology and Medicine) publisher which has pioneered the
open access publishing model. All peer-reviewed research articles published by
BioMed Central are made immediately and freely accessible online, and are
licensed to allow redistribution and reuse. BioMed Central is part of Springer
Science+Business Media, a leading global publisher in the STM sector.