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University of Nevada, Las Vegas; Center for Academic Enrichment and Outreach


It has been reported that homosexuality is a risk factor for males with anorexia. However, it is unclear whether it is a specific risk factor for eating pathology or just a common risk factor associated with psychopathology. If social stigmatization of homosexuality can cause general psychological suffering that express itself as a discomfort with sexual orientation, poor self-esteem, depression, and disordered eating, than homosexuality may act as a general risk factor in itself. It can also be interrelated to certain aspects that distinctively increase the risk for males developing anorexia, such as increased identification with the male gender roles (Munen and Smolak 1997) or even an amplified pressure to maintain a thin physique in order to attract a male partner (Epel, Spankos, kasl-Godley, and Brownwell 1969).

The identification of risk factors for the development of body image disturbance and anorexia has been an active area of interest (Thompson and Smolak, 2001). Recently there has been much investigating in to the causes of anorexia in females aging from childhood all the way to adulthood, but the same cannot be said for males or why it is so important to expand our research for gender-specific factors for boys and males and how sexual orientation plays a part in this.


Anorexia nervosa; Eating disorders in men; Homosexuality


Cognitive Behavioral Therapy | Human and Clinical Nutrition | Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Studies | Mental and Social Health | Other Medicine and Health Sciences | Other Mental and Social Health




Mentor: Larry Ashley

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