Being Attractive is All That Matters: Objectification Theory and Gay Men
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Publisher:The Ohio State University
Series/Report no.:The Ohio State University. Department of Psychology Honors Theses; 2007
Body image among gay men is overlooked by scholars, and male body change strategies are not presented in a theoretical framework with this population. Using Fredrickson and Roberts’ (1997) Objectification Theory, we conceptualized factors, like internalization of the mesomorphic ideal and perceived socio-cultural pressures to be thin/muscular, within this framework to explain body image and body change strategies for gay men. Relationships between gay community affiliation, internalized homophobia, and self esteem were also explored with the constructs of the model. We collected data online from geographically diverse regions across the United States. Although path analysis with 266 gay men suggested that the model did not fit the data, an exploratory model demonstrated a good fit and suggested that body image among gay males is multifaceted. Further research should investigate gay male body image within a theoretical framework. These findings have significant implications for counseling gay men and their body image issues. Counselors can now be aware of how some variables, like pressures to be thin and muscular, internalized homophobia, internalization of the mesomorphic ideal, and community affiliation affect body image and body change strategies among gay men.
College of The Arts and Sciences: Undergraduate Research Scholarship
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