Purpose: Body weight dissatisfaction (BWD) and visual body perception are specific aspects that can influence the own body image, and that can concur with the development or the maintenance of specific psychopathological dimensions of different psychiatric disorders. The sexual orientation is a fundamental but understudied aspect in this field, and, for this reason, the purpose of this study is to improve knowledge about the relationships among BWD, visual body size-perception, and sexual orientation. Methods: A total of 1033 individuals participated in an online survey. Physical comparison, depression, and self-esteem was evaluated, as well as sexual orientation and the presence of an eating disorder. A Figure Rating Scale was used to assess different valences of body weight, and mediation analyses were performed to investigated specific relationships between psychological aspects. Results: Bisexual women and gay men reported significantly higher BWD than other groups (p < 0.001); instead, higher body misperception was present in gay men (p = 0.001). Physical appearance comparison mediated the effect of sexual orientation in both BWD and perceptual distortion. No difference emerged between women with a history of eating disorders and without, as regards the value of body weight attributed to attractiveness, health, and presence on social media. Conclusion: This study contributes to understanding the relationship between sexual orientations and body image representation and evaluation. Physical appearance comparisons should be considered as critical psychological factors that can improve and affect well-being. The impact on subjects with high levels of eating concerns is also discussed. Level of evidence: Level III: case–control analytic study.

The role of sexual orientation in the relationships between body perception, body weight dissatisfaction, physical comparison, and eating psychopathology in the cisgender population

Meneguzzo P.
;
Collantoni E.;Bonello E.;Vergine M.;Tenconi E.;Favaro A.
2020

Abstract

Purpose: Body weight dissatisfaction (BWD) and visual body perception are specific aspects that can influence the own body image, and that can concur with the development or the maintenance of specific psychopathological dimensions of different psychiatric disorders. The sexual orientation is a fundamental but understudied aspect in this field, and, for this reason, the purpose of this study is to improve knowledge about the relationships among BWD, visual body size-perception, and sexual orientation. Methods: A total of 1033 individuals participated in an online survey. Physical comparison, depression, and self-esteem was evaluated, as well as sexual orientation and the presence of an eating disorder. A Figure Rating Scale was used to assess different valences of body weight, and mediation analyses were performed to investigated specific relationships between psychological aspects. Results: Bisexual women and gay men reported significantly higher BWD than other groups (p < 0.001); instead, higher body misperception was present in gay men (p = 0.001). Physical appearance comparison mediated the effect of sexual orientation in both BWD and perceptual distortion. No difference emerged between women with a history of eating disorders and without, as regards the value of body weight attributed to attractiveness, health, and presence on social media. Conclusion: This study contributes to understanding the relationship between sexual orientations and body image representation and evaluation. Physical appearance comparisons should be considered as critical psychological factors that can improve and affect well-being. The impact on subjects with high levels of eating concerns is also discussed. Level of evidence: Level III: case–control analytic study.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11577/3355901
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