Date of Award
Master Of Arts In Clinical Psychology
Colleges & School
College Of Arts And Sciences
Gregory Jurenec, PhD
Library of Congress Subject Heading
Gay men; Internalized homophobia; Eating disorders; Body image
Men make up 10% of individuals diagnosed with eating disorders; of these, gay men make up the majority. However, there is little research on gay men and disordered eating, the majority of research has been directed toward women. The research that has been done with gay men has focused on pressures from society to be masculine, self-silencing emotions (i.e. internalizing needs, thoughts, and opinions), attention to appearance, the effects of internalized homophobia, and the coming out process. The current study evaluated whether self-silencing and internalized homophobia are related to disordered eating, and low body esteem in gay men. Participants were 27 self-identified gay men ranging in age from 18 to 60 years old who live in the Midwest region. Participants were recruited from advertisements at local universities, local LGBT bars, the Alterra Coffee Shops, and through word of mouth. Participants completed four self-report questionnaires that included the Eating Attitudes Test, Body Shape Questionnaire, Silencing the Self Scale, the Internalized Homophobia Scale, and, demographic questions. All were made available on the website, Survey Monkey. The data were analyzed to assess the following hypotheses: 1) gay men who scored low on internalized homophobia and self-silencing would have greater body esteem than gay men who scored high on internalized homophobia and self-silencing; 2) gay men who scored low on internalized homophobia and self-silencing would have less disordered eating and exhibit less negative attitudes towards eating compared to gay men who scored high on internalized homophobia and self-silencing; 3) lower body esteem would be related to more disordered eating and more negative eating attitudes. Significant correlations were found between self-silencing and internalized homophobia, as well as self-silencing and disordered eating. This suggests that gay men who score high on self-silencing exhibit a higher degree of disordered eating and internalized homophobia. The current study also found that higher scores on self-silencing correlated significantly with poor body esteem. It was also found that gay men who scored low on internalized homophobia had less disordered eating and exhibit less negative attitudes towards eating compared to gay men who scored high. While a significant correlation was not found between internalized homophobia and body esteem, a t-test did approach significance while comparing high and low groups on body esteem. The implications of these results are discussed.
Hanley, Danielle, "Relationship between internalized homophobia, self silencing, and disordered eating and body esteem in gay men" (2013). Master's Theses, Capstones, and Projects. 38.