Bisexual men are more likely to experience eating disorders than either heterosexual or gay men, according to a new report from the University of California San Francisco. Numerous studies have indicated that gay men are at increased risk for disordered eating — including fasting, excessive exercise and preoccupation with weight and body shape. But the findings, published this month in the journal Eating and Weight Disorders, suggest that bisexual men are even more susceptible to some unhealthy habits. In a sampling of over 4, LGBTQ adults, a quarter of bisexual men reported having fasted for more than eight hours to influence their weight or appearance, compared to 20 percent of gay men.
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The present study investigated body concerns in a community sample of 52 homosexual men, as well as two comparison groups comprising 51 heterosexual men and 55 heterosexual women. Gay men were found to score significantly more highly than heterosexual men on all measures of disordered eating, and did not differ significantly from women on Drive for Thinness or Bulimia. They also scored significantly more highly than heterosexual men and women on Drive for Muscularity a scale developed for this study , suggesting that the gay 'ideal' involves not only being thin, but also being muscular. Interestingly, however, gay men did not differ significantly from heterosexual men on body esteem, with both groups scoring higher than the women. While body esteem was found to be related to self-esteem for all of the groups, for gay men only self-esteem was negatively related to the importance to others of appearance, weight, and muscularity, perhaps reflecting increased pressure within the gay community to attain the ideal body shape.
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The term "gay" may be confusing and even foreign to some, forcing people to ask, "What is gay? While "gay" can be thought of as a synonym to "homosexual," there is more to the meaning of gay than that. Homosexuality is considered to be same-sex sexual attraction and behavior and "gay" is a synonym of homosexuality. The term "homosexuality" 1 was first used by Victorian scientists who considered same-sex sexual attraction and behavior a "moral deficiency.