Anorexia Nervosa In Men Cristy Honeycutt Stanly Community College Abstract This paper is about the research of men with anorexia. Is it the same as female anorexia or is it something different? Also researchers are trying to see if it requires a different type of treatment verses the types of treatment they use for females. It also talks about what types of males are more prone and known to get this disorder. This study is explored by Catherine Soban in detail. The study is also trying to see what maybe can bring on this disorder in males. Anorexia Nervosa In Men
The purpose of this study was to determine the validity of male anorexia nervosa and to see how it is different from female anorexia nervosa. Also it was to see how they might could treat the disorder. This study was undertaken to look into male anorexia, because it is ignored by so many people. Most people think that it is just a female problem. People tend to notice it more in females than in males, but what people don’t know is that it occurs in males quite often too. In this study researchers want to look at how common anorexia nervosa is in males and what might trigger it and how to possibly treat it. Soban, 2006) Background Review of the Journal Anorexia Research Studied Anorexia for males is like a whole different disorder for males, than for females. This disorder in males has to be looked at in an appropriate may for males, because the brain chemistry between males and females are different. Therefore, each gender is going to analyze things differently and act on things differently which leads to say that when it comes to anorexia nervosa, they are going to be different with the disorder. (Soban, 2006)
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Most men with this problem do not come out and admit it, because most people associate anorexia nervosa with females not males. “They fear they will get made fun of and will not be taken seriously. ” (Soban, 2006) Psychologist are trying to find a way to treat males different from females to help males with anorexia nervosa, and to show that it is just as serious as female anorexia nervosa. (Soban, 2006) Male and female anorexia nervosa victims suffer from the same clinical disorder, but there are some different characteristics based on their gender and interpretation of it. (Soban, 2006)
Influences on Male Anorexia Nervosa It is believed that the models on the TV. advertisements for clothing companies with these perfect bodies has had a negative influence on males and making them anorexic. That is the ideal image of what males want to look like and other peers are drooling over the nice looking body. Some males will go to extremes to look like that and this has been a major reason for males becoming anorexic. According to Soban “there is no gender focused psychotherapy approach” to focus on the pressures that affect a males development of his self image in relation to anorexia nervosa. Soban,2006) Because male anorexia is focused on females or girliness, the explanations for women has a small effect on the similarities to male anorexia nervosa, meaning that male and female anorexia are their own disorders. (Soban, 2006) Types Of Males That Have Anorexia Nervosa It has been shown through studies that there are two different most common groups of males with anorexia nervosa. The two groups are, homosexual men and athletes. (Soban, 2006) Homosexuals are people who have sexual feelings toward a person of the same sex. (Merriam Webster’s dictionary. om) Homosexuals are the most ranked to be seen with anorexia nervosa. This is because most homosexuals have more feminine traits in them than most other males, which is what links this back to anorexia nervosa being stereotyped as a female only disorder. (Soban, 2006) Then you have athletes as the second most common type of males to have anorexia nervosa. Athletes usually have nice looking toned bodies which would be considered the perfect body for most. The athletes that are a part of endurance type sports specifically affected. Endurance sports are one that require some intensity in them. (mimi. y) These types of sports have weight requirements that put pressure on them to meet certain standards to be accepted on a team. This has made males be more prone to become anorexic because of acceptance. (Soban, 2006) Proven facts of Male Anorexia It has been proven that male anorexia nervosa has a higher premorbid rate than female anorexia, which shows that doctors need to be more concerned about the males than what they currently are. (Soban, 2006) In the study, the ages for homosexuality was on the age range of 18 to 50 years old. It was a “large diverse community based” research sample.
Homosexuals seemed to be more unsatisfied with their bodily images and cared more about what people thought. This made them most likely to have other issues go on with anorexia nervosa. This includes depression, low self esteem, and sexuality issues. (Soban, 2006) Homosexuals having to come forth about their homosexuality cam bring on eating disorders. They can in turn not want to accept that they have a problem. (Soban, 2006) there are some obvious signs that someone is anorexic. Such as wearing layered clothing while they are working out, this makes them sweat more and in turn it burns extra calories.
Excessive exercising can also be a sign, these people really get obsessed with it. They do extra exercising so that they can still eat. Also they get very irritable if any of this is interrupted. Doing these things can cause damage to your body such as stressed fractures because not getting your nutrients can cause bones to be fragile. They can also loose muscle tone, and also get bodily infections easier because their immune systems are weakened. Women see other women battling anorexia and tend to follow those same steps to get that perfect body. Men that have a more feminine side tend to follow the trend too.
Therefore, is said that male anorexia nervosa is branched off of female anorexia nervosa. It just has some differences amongst the two genders that triggers anorexia nervosa in males and females. (Soban, 2006) How Anorexia Nervosa Is Treated You cannot treat them as the same disorder. You have to treat them in different ways. It is not easy to see the relevancy in mal anorexia because people relate it to females so much. Because of this gender related idea of anorexia nervosa, it leaves us with no specific ways to treat the psychosocial issues with this disorder. Soban, 2006) (Mirriam Webster’s dictionary. com) Another aspect of this disorder is how children are raised. If they are raised up having to always compete at being the best, or always doing things to please someone else which can lead to anorexia nervosa later on in life. Males tend to make anorexia nervosa a competitive issue, which can worsen the disorder. (Soban, 2006) References “Homosexual – Definition and More from the Free Merriam-Webster Dictionary. ” Merriam-Webster Online. Web. 15 Oct. 2010. ;http://www. merriam-webster. om/dictionary/homosexual;. Soban, catherine “What about the Boys? : Addressing Issues of Masculinity within Male Anorexia Nervosa in a Feminist Therapeutic Environment. – Free Online Library. ” Free News, Magazines, Newspapers, Journals, Reference Articles and Classic Books – Free Online Library. Web. 15 Oct. 2010. ;http://www. thefreelibrary. com/What about the boys? : addressing issues of masculinity within male… -a0159027489;. Conclusion The problem with male anorexia nervosa needs to be fixed before it worsens and gets out of control.
Because males are supposed to be masculine, “they show shame of acting in any way that doesn’t conform to their standards” and because of this anorexia nervosa is seen as a female problem therefore men who have the disorder are often treated insufficiently. Something must be be done to help these thinning, hungry men. (Soban, 2006) I think that more studies need to be done, because this seems to be a serious problem. I can’t say how I would try to handle the problem and try to solve it, because it seems very challenging and it needs a very educated person in this field to take on the challenge.