The drive for muscularity in men: media influences and objectification theory

Body Image. 2010 Jan;7(1):32-8. doi: 10.1016/j.bodyim.2009.08.003. Epub 2009 Oct 7.


Presently, objectification theory has yielded mixed results when utilized to explain body image concerns in men. An online survey assessing internalization of media ideals, self-objectification, body surveillance, body shame, the drive for muscularity, and body mass index (BMI) was completed by 244 predominantly college-aged males. Path analyses were used to investigate relationships among these variables where it was hypothesized that objectification variables would mediate the relationship between internalization of media ideals and the drive for muscularity. Internalization of media ideals was the strongest predictor of the drive for muscularity, followed by BMI, though variables of objectification theory had no impact on the drive for muscularity contrary to hypotheses. The results suggest that objectification theory may not be applicable to men as it is currently measured.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Body Image*
  • Body Mass Index
  • Drive*
  • Gender Identity*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Mass Media*
  • Muscle Strength*
  • Personality Inventory / statistics & numerical data
  • Psychometrics
  • Self Concept
  • Shame
  • Social Conformity*
  • Social Values
  • Students / psychology
  • Young Adult