Disordered eating behaviors among Italian men: objectifying media and sexual orientation differences

Eat Disord. 2012;20(5):356-67. doi: 10.1080/10640266.2012.715514.


Objectification theory was tested as a suitable framework for explaining sexual orientation differences in disordered eating behaviors in college-aged Italian men. The theory's applicability to 125 homosexual and 130 heterosexual men was investigated using self-report questionnaires. Gay men scored significantly higher on exposure to sexually objectifying media, body surveillance, body shame, disordered eating behaviors, and depression than heterosexual men. Although path analyses support the theory's applicability to both groups, for gay men the path model demonstrated a better fit to the objectification theory for disordered eating and depression. Practical implications are discussed.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Body Image / psychology*
  • Depression / psychology*
  • Feeding and Eating Disorders / etiology*
  • Feeding and Eating Disorders / psychology
  • Heterosexuality / psychology*
  • Homosexuality, Male / psychology*
  • Humans
  • Italy
  • Male
  • Mass Media*
  • Psychological Theory
  • Self Concept*
  • Shame
  • Young Adult