Well, weekly assignments include discussion posts to a particular, possibly controversial topic in the world of body image, obesity and eating disorders. This weeks discussion topic:
Is emphasis on body image in the media harmful to females only?
There is a significant body of knowledge out there that addresses the impact of the media on body image on adolescent girls. Social comparison significantly influences girl’s attitude about themselves. However in the last few decades males are exposed to imagers of their idealized body type and these images have an impact on the male psych as well. Adolescent boys as well as girls are pressured to engage in potentially unhealthy behaviors to achieve these idealized body sizes and shapes. Is this just another “catastrophizing “ of a situation that affects just a very small minority or is it an alarming trend in our culture that has ongoing and exacerbating psychological implications for boys. Discuss.
Hmm… Here is my two cents worth of a response:
I have done tons of research on the effects of media on body image. It is absolutely true that there is a significantly larger amount of research dedicated to the effects of media on female body image rather than male. However, the amount of research studies does not take away from the data that IS available. That data shows that the emphasis on body image has an impact on both genders.
Nearly 10 million females and 1 million males in the U.S. are battling an eating disorder such as anorexia or bulimia, while millions more suffer from binge eating disorder?”
I am alarmed…