Factors associated with a drive for muscularity among gay and bisexual men.

Published: November 14, 2011

Abstract

Among gay and bisexual men, body dissatisfaction can manifest itself in the form of a desire for increased muscularity. Possibly in response to homophobia, the socio-sexual culture of gay and bisexual men privileges muscularity and may help to perpetuate a sense of body dissatisfaction. Little is known about factors associated with a drive for muscularity among gay and bisexual men. This study recruited participants (n = 400) at Toronto’s 2008 lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender festival to provide data used to examine the relationship between a drive for muscularity and demographics (age, race, education, HIV status), psychological factors (depression, disordered eating, internalised homophobia, substance use), body mass, a history of childhood sexual abuse and sexual risk. Multivariate analyses revealed that a drive for muscularity was associated with age, disordered eating, depression, sexual risk and internalised homonegativity. These findings can be used to advance the health and wellbeing of gay and bisexual men, particularly interventions designed to mitigate the effects of internalised homonegativity and policies aimed at reducing homophobia.

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