Both gay and heterosexual men are equally likely to aspire to an
unattainable body type, or to harbor a distorted image of their actual
body, new research indicates.
This finding contradicts the conventional wisdom that gay men
have more "hang ups" about their appearance than straight men, study
author Dr. Armand Hausmann told Reuters Health.
This assumption stems from a wide range of stereotypes,
Hausmann noted, including the belief that gay men are more likely to
adopt a "feminine gender identity," that gay culture places a high
emphasis on body image, and that gay men have generally lower
However, no research has adequately substantiated any of these
notions, the investigator noted, suggesting more research is needed.
Previous research has shown that more gay men report body image
concerns than heterosexual men, Hausmann noted, and it’s possible that
these studies over-represented gay men with eating disorders, or other
body image problems.
Alternatively, he suggested, gay men may simply be more "open"
about their bodies, allowing them to freely discuss their concerns. "As
a result of this openness, gay men may actually have an advantage over
straight men in their ability to talk about body image concerns,"