Study highlights male body image concerns

28 Jul 2016

A study from The University of Sydney has indicated that men are more likely to suffer psychologically when they are dissatisfied with their body image compared to women.

The Australian research consisted of 966 males and 1,031 females who provided information about their body dissatisfaction, mental health, physical health-related quality of life and eating disorder symptoms. 

The results of the research suggested that, for both sexes, increased levels of body dissatisfaction was associated with poorer mental and physical health-related quality of life and great physiological distress. 

The results also indicated that these associations were more pronounced for males than females. 

Lead researcher Dr Scott Griffiths said the stigma associated with males suffering from what tends to be seen as a female problem is concerning, and that their research suggests that men with body image issues are up to four times more likely than females to be undiagnosed.

“Although our data suggests that, overall, the burden of body dissatisfaction is borne disproportionately by females, males with body dissatisfaction may be a particularly high-risk group,” said Dr Griffiths.

He added, “The additional stigma towards men is that they are less masculine by virtue of suffering from a stereotypically female problem. 

In addition, men report feeling less worthy if they need to ask for help, and this has been associated, in our research, with an increased likelihood of men with eating disorders remaining undiagnosed – four times more likely in our study.”

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