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An internet questionnaire study into predictors of gay men’s social physique anxiety

Jones, Neil (2012) An internet questionnaire study into predictors of gay men’s social physique anxiety. (Unpublished)

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Abstract

Previous research has shown that gay men are at particular risk from body image issues. This study aimed to investigate how media factors, gender role, and body dissatisfaction influenced gay men’s social physique anxiety. An internet snowball sample of 191 gay men completed an online questionnaire measuring internalisation of media messages, gay magazine and pornography exposure, male gender role identification, muscle and fat dissatisfaction, and social physique anxiety. A hierarchical regression and ANOVAs were used to investigate the effects of the variables on social physique anxiety. General media internalisation, male gender role, and muscle and fat dissatisfaction were uniquely predictive of social physique anxiety. Those with high media internalisation had significantly higher social physique anxiety than those with low media internalisation. Those with higher male gender role identification had significantly lower social physique anxiety than those with low male gender role identification. Male gender role, media influences and body dissatisfaction can all be used in the prediction of body image based anxiety. Recommendations for further study are made in terms of different age groups, feelings of belonging within the gay community, and different gay subcultures.

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