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Men With Bigorexia and Anorexia See Themselves As More Masculine and Feminine

Update Date: Mar 27, 2013 10:28 AM EDT

Men with "bigorexia" or muscle dysmorphia have higher self-perceived masculinity, and men with anorexia nervosa relate more strongly to feminine stereotypes, according to a new study.

The latest study published in the Journal of Eating Disorders, found that men who were preoccupied with becoming more muscular had a greater preference for traditional masculine roles, whereas men with a high desire for thinness had greater adherence to traditional feminine roles.

Previous research suggested that sexuality us one of the primary driving forces behind body dysmorphia in men.  However, the recent study suggests how men view themselves is more important.

Researchers at the University of Sydney and the Australian National University asked participants to answer questionnaires designed to identify how they viewed themselves in comparison to accepted stereotypes of masculine thoughts and behaviors.

Researchers found that men with muscle dysmorphia had a greater preference for traditional masculine roles and men with anorexia nervosa showed a greater preference for feminine roles.

Researcher Dr. Stuart Murray said the findings do "not mean that that the men with anorexia were any less masculine, nor that the men with muscle dysmorphia were less feminine than the control subjects recruited. It is however an indication of the increasing pressures men are under to define their masculinity in the modern world".

Researchers said that if the findings in the recent study may provide valuable insight for developing better treatment programs for men with eating disorders.  

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