According to a new study published in the Journal of Eating Disorders, attraction to men increases the risk of developing an ED!
As you may be aware, eating disorders are really serious psychological disorders that can really affect patients’ lives and can even be deadly!
That being said, this new research concluded that eating disorders are much more common amongst people attracted to men than in those attracted to women.
This is apparently the case because men tend to care more about their partners’ physical attractiveness than women do, causing those said partners to be at a higher risk of developing eating disorders as a result.
The study’s author, Pedro Maria Ruiz de Assin Varela, along with colleagues, tested this theory on 398 total participants.
The group was made up of heterosexual and homosexual women and men as follows: 45 percent of the male participants and 68 percent of the female participants were attracted to men.
They were all asked to complete an online questionnaire that included questions about their ages, sex, height, weight, sexual attraction, eating disorder history or symptomology and relationship status.
And sure enough, the theory was confirmed – the participants attracted to men presented higher levels of eating disorder symptomology than those attracted to women, regardless of their gender identity or sexuality.
In other words, both women and men attracted to men were more likely to suffer from an ED.
Furthermore, body dissatisfaction was also greater in the participants attracted to men but also higher in all women regardless of their sexuality.
The desire to be thinner was higher in both straight women and gay men.
Symptoms of bulimia were higher amongst heterosexual women when compared to homosexual women but they were rather similar amongst men regardless of their sexual orientation.
It sounds like this research has managed to provide more support to a previous theory that ED risk is linked to mating behavior to a certain extent.
It’s important to note that despite the important data gathered, this study has a lot of limitations as well.
First of all, because of the need to have a variety of sexualities and sexes as part of the research, the sample groups were rather small.
Finally, due to the fact that it was a cross-sectional study, the team was unable to follow the evolution of the ED symptoms the participants reported experiencing.