Date of Award




Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Department of Psychology


Clinical Psychology

Content Description

1 online resource (ii, iii, 71 pages) : illustrations (some color)

Dissertation/Thesis Chair

Drew A Anderson

Committee Members

Mitch Earleywine, Julia Hormes


body image, clinical psychology, disordered eating, gay men, sexual orientation, Body image in men, Body image disturbance, Eating disorders in men, Sexual minority men, Self-perception in men

Subject Categories

Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Studies | Psychiatric and Mental Health | Psychology


Most research on body image and disordered eating has focused largely on women, as women are at higher risk than men for eating disorders. In recent years research has revealed that men are at increasing risk for these outcomes, especially as the ideal male body represented in media images and therefore frequently internalized among men is becoming so lean and muscular as to make it very difficult for most men to realistically achieve. Sexual minority men in particular have been found to be at increased risk for body dissatisfaction, body shame, and disordered eating than their heterosexual counterparts. The research on sexual minority men, however, is in the beginning stages and it is unclear to date how and why body dissatisfaction and eating pathology may be systematically different in this population in comparison to heterosexual men. The current study sought to investigate mediating and moderating factors into the relationship between sexual orientation, body dissatisfaction, and disordered eating. Sexual minority men (n = 112) reported higher levels of body dissatisfaction and disordered eating than heterosexual men (n = 242). Contrary to hypotheses, integration into gay culture was not related to the outcome variables, nor were appearance conversations. Also contrary to hypotheses, exercise motivations were similar in both groups of men, with the exception that heterosexual men were more likely to report exercising for the purpose of competition. Implications and possible directions for future research are discussed.