It has been widely demonstrated that people who identify as belonging to the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender LGBT community have a greater susceptibility to mental health problems including suicide attempts, anxiety and depression 1. They are also specifically at a higher risk of developing eating disorders including anorexia and bulimia 2. According to the National Eating Disorders Association, this may be due to their difficulties around the time of coming out, such as fear of rejection, internalised negative beliefs because of their sexual orientation, problems with discrimination or bullying, discordance between biological sex and gender identity, and homelessness which is more likely to happen to people from the LGBT community 3. But, are there specific risk factors which predispose to eating psychopathology, and are lesbians, gay and transsexual people affected in the same ways? This paper will examine the evidence. It has been known for some time that eating disorders are more common in gay men than in heterosexual men. The story is somewhat different with lesbian women, who generally rate their appearance as feminine, androgynous, or masculine.
Eating Disorders in Diverse Lesbian, Gay, and Bisexual Populations
Eating disorders in diverse lesbian, gay, and bisexual populations.
Here's how to inoculate ourselves against negative ones. Verified by Psychology Today. Sax on Sex. You've probably heard about Constance McMillen by now. She's the openly-gay high school senior who wanted to take her girlfriend to the high school prom at Itawamba High School in northern Mississippi. The principal told the girls that all prom couples have to be boy-girl.
Eating Disorders in Lesbian, Gay, and Bisexual People
This study estimates the prevalence of eating disorders in lesbian, gay, and bisexual LGB men and women, and examines the association between participation in the gay community and eating disorder prevalence in gay and bisexual men. One hundred and twenty six white heterosexuals and white, black, Latino LGB men and women were sampled from community venues. Gay and bisexual men had significantly higher prevalence estimates of eating disorders than heterosexual men. There were no differences in eating disorder prevalence between lesbian and bisexual women and heterosexual women, or across gender or racial groups. Attending a gay recreational group was significantly related to eating disorder prevalence in gay and bisexual men.
Young women who are attracted to both sexes or who are unsure about who they are attracted to are more likely to develop an eating disorder than those attracted to only one sex, according to a new study from Drexel University. However, the results of the study suggest that females attracted to the same-sex are no more likely to experience disordered eating symptoms than their peers with opposite-sex attractions. This finding is contrary to previous assumptions that same-sex attraction plays a protective role against eating pathology in females. The study also found that males who were attracted to other males or both sexes had higher rates of eating disorders than males only attracted to the opposite sex, which is supported by previous research. The study, "The Relationship between Disordered Eating and Sexuality amongst Adolescents and Young Adults," is now available online and will appear in a forthcoming print issue of Eating Behaviors , an international peer-reviewed scientific journal publishing human research on the etiology, prevention and treatment of obesity, binge eating and eating disorders in adults and children.