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Why do men stigmatize individuals with eating disorders more than women? Experimental evidence that sex differences in conformity to gender norms, not biological sex, drive eating disorders' stigmatization.
Eat Disord. 2019 May-Jun; 27(3):267-290.ED

Abstract

Previous research has shown that men are more stigmatizing than women toward individuals with eating disorders, including anorexia nervosa and muscle dysmorphia. We hypothesized that previously observed sex differences in eating disorders' stigmatization are driven by sex differences in individuals' levels of conformity to masculine and feminine gender norms. Young adults (N = 545) completed validated measures of conformity to masculine and feminine norms and were then randomly assigned to read a character description of a male or female individual with anorexia or muscle dysmorphia. Subsequently, participants' stigmatizing attitudes toward the characters were assessed. Multivariate analyses indicated that participants' conformity to masculine and feminine norms were superior predictors of stigmatization relative to biological sex (male/female). Further, participants' conformity to masculine norms, but not feminine norms, was significantly predictive of stigmatization. Specific masculine norms predictive of eating disorders' stigmatization included self-reliance and heterosexual self-presentation. Our findings argue against the notion that men are intrinsically more stigmatizing of eating disorders than women; rather, sex differences in socialization to masculine gender norms may drive stigmatization. Importantly, our study highlights masculine gender norm conformity as a target for researchers involved in the development of prevention programs for eating disorders' stigmatization.

Authors+Show Affiliations

a Melbourne School of Psychological Sciences , University of Melbourne , Melbourne , Australia.a Melbourne School of Psychological Sciences , University of Melbourne , Melbourne , Australia.

Pub Type(s)

Journal Article

Language

eng

PubMed ID

30052168

Citation

Austen, Emma, and Scott Griffiths. "Why Do Men Stigmatize Individuals With Eating Disorders More Than Women? Experimental Evidence That Sex Differences in Conformity to Gender Norms, Not Biological Sex, Drive Eating Disorders' Stigmatization." Eating Disorders, vol. 27, no. 3, 2019, pp. 267-290.
Austen E, Griffiths S. Why do men stigmatize individuals with eating disorders more than women? Experimental evidence that sex differences in conformity to gender norms, not biological sex, drive eating disorders' stigmatization. Eat Disord. 2019;27(3):267-290.
Austen, E., & Griffiths, S. (2019). Why do men stigmatize individuals with eating disorders more than women? Experimental evidence that sex differences in conformity to gender norms, not biological sex, drive eating disorders' stigmatization. Eating Disorders, 27(3), 267-290. https://doi.org/10.1080/10640266.2018.1499337
Austen E, Griffiths S. Why Do Men Stigmatize Individuals With Eating Disorders More Than Women? Experimental Evidence That Sex Differences in Conformity to Gender Norms, Not Biological Sex, Drive Eating Disorders' Stigmatization. Eat Disord. 2019 May-Jun;27(3):267-290. PubMed PMID: 30052168.
* Article titles in AMA citation format should be in sentence-case
TY - JOUR T1 - Why do men stigmatize individuals with eating disorders more than women? Experimental evidence that sex differences in conformity to gender norms, not biological sex, drive eating disorders' stigmatization. AU - Austen,Emma, AU - Griffiths,Scott, Y1 - 2018/07/27/ PY - 2018/7/28/pubmed PY - 2019/11/26/medline PY - 2018/7/28/entrez SP - 267 EP - 290 JF - Eating disorders JO - Eat Disord VL - 27 IS - 3 N2 - Previous research has shown that men are more stigmatizing than women toward individuals with eating disorders, including anorexia nervosa and muscle dysmorphia. We hypothesized that previously observed sex differences in eating disorders' stigmatization are driven by sex differences in individuals' levels of conformity to masculine and feminine gender norms. Young adults (N = 545) completed validated measures of conformity to masculine and feminine norms and were then randomly assigned to read a character description of a male or female individual with anorexia or muscle dysmorphia. Subsequently, participants' stigmatizing attitudes toward the characters were assessed. Multivariate analyses indicated that participants' conformity to masculine and feminine norms were superior predictors of stigmatization relative to biological sex (male/female). Further, participants' conformity to masculine norms, but not feminine norms, was significantly predictive of stigmatization. Specific masculine norms predictive of eating disorders' stigmatization included self-reliance and heterosexual self-presentation. Our findings argue against the notion that men are intrinsically more stigmatizing of eating disorders than women; rather, sex differences in socialization to masculine gender norms may drive stigmatization. Importantly, our study highlights masculine gender norm conformity as a target for researchers involved in the development of prevention programs for eating disorders' stigmatization. SN - 1532-530X UR - https://www.unboundmedicine.com/medline/citation/30052168/Why_do_men_stigmatize_individuals_with_eating_disorders_more_than_women_Experimental_evidence_that_sex_differences_in_conformity_to_gender_norms,_not_biological_sex,_drive_eating_disorders'_stigmatization L2 - http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/10640266.2018.1499337 DB - PRIME DP - Unbound Medicine ER -