Date of Award




Document Type

Master's Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)


Department of Psychology


Clinical Psychology

Content Description

1 online resource (ii, 52 pages) : illustrations.

Dissertation/Thesis Chair

Drew A Anderson

Committee Members

Julia M Hormes


body image, eating disorders, objectification theory, sexual minority, Sexual minority men, Eating disorders in men, Body image in men, Body image disturbance, Objectification (Social psychology)

Subject Categories

Clinical Psychology


Research supports objectification theory as providing a framework for understanding how eating disturbances can develop in females. However, research among men—specifically sexual minority men who are disproportionally affected by such issues—is deficient. The current study sought to further assess whether the relations hypothesized by objectification theory were significant among sexual minority males. In addition, the current study explored the role of sexual orientation acceptance concerns as a moderating variable. To evaluate the current study’s aims, sexual minority males (N=208) were recruited online and asked to complete self-report measurements related to the objectification theory, eating pathology, and sexual orientation identity. Results of the subsequent mediation analysis suggest that positive relations between internalization of sociocultural standards of attractiveness and body shame partially mediated the relation between objectification experiences and eating disorder symptomatology. Additionally, results from moderated-mediation analyses reveal that sexual orientation acceptance concerns had a significant positive indirect effect with eating disorder symptomatology and internalization of sociocultural ideals of attractiveness. The current study provides further evidence to support an objectification theory framework to explain eating disorder symptomatology among sexual minority males. Furthermore, results extend this framework by highlighting the role of sexual identity acceptance concerns. In sum, these findings help to inform future research that aims to provide theoretically grounded approaches to studying and treating body image and eating-related disturbances among sexual minority males.