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"Fiction or Fact-Men Suffering from A Girl's Problem" - research paper


Timcago 8 / 4  
May 7, 2007   #1
Check the paper for grammar errors and all that good stuff : )

Fiction or Fact-Men Suffering from A Girl's Problem

The first time that I heard the phrase "eating disorder" was from an article titled "Dying to Be Thin" about female eating disorders; however, males have also suffered from all sorts of eating disorders. I have also learned from some of my male friends that they have to put on or lose certain amounts of weight to meet their coach's requirement on sports teams in high school. As teenage boys, my male friends know just as many tips of how to manage weight and calculate calories as teenage girls.

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Generally speaking, an eating disorder is defined as a girl's problem, and the mass media, medical professions, and public focus almost exclusively on females who deal with weight and dieting. Carolyn Costin in The Eating Disorder Sourcebook points out, "Males do develop anorexia and bulimia, and, rather than being a new phenomenon, this was observed over three hundred years ago. Among the first well-documented accounts of anorexia nervosa, reported in the 1600s by Dr. Richard Morton and in the 1800s by the British physician William Gull, are cases of males suffering from the disorder" (25). As stated by Mark Kittleson, Ph.D.in The Truth about Eating Disorders, "Now, they encounter 1 male with anorexia for every 4 females with the disorder. The ratio of males to females with bulimia is 1 male to 8-11 females. Harvard Eating Disorders Clinic also reports that men account for 10 to 15 percent of the reported cases of bulimia, based on 1997 study by A.E. Andersen and J.E. Holman" (61). Therefore, the world of male eating disorders is not a fiction, but a fact. In addition, Aleixo Muise et al.illustrates, "The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders IV defines three categories of eating disorders: anorexia nervosa (AN), bulimia nervosa (BN), and eating disorders that do not meet the criteria for AN and BN. Binge eating disorder (BED) is defined as a disorder needing additional study...It was estimated that 5% to 15% of cases of AN and BN and 40% of cases of BED occur in boys and men" (427). The prevalence of male eating disorders has become alarmingly more apparent in recent years, but by and large, eating disorders in males have been overlooked, understudied, and underreported. Therefore, in order to answer what has happened underneath the world of male eating disorders, the following discussion will present the subgroups involved in male eating disorders by high-risk factors such as males being bisexual or homosexual, males with a teasing background, male athletes and military men, and the secondary prevention of eating disorders operated by dentists and dental hygienists.

What types of men are at high risk of becoming victims of eating disorders? First of all, there has been a general consensus that males with a homosexual orientation have a higher rate of eating disorders. In fact, the investigation by Adelaide Robb and Michele Dadson shows that "up to 20% of male patients with eating disorders are homosexual" within the estimated "rates of homosexual in the general population are...10%" (402). In the meantime, another study by Simone A. French et al. examines and analyzes the survey based on males with diverse sexual orientations. The results present that "homosexual males were more likely to report a poor body image (27.8% vs. 12.0%), frequent dieting (8.9% vs. 5.5%), binge eating (25.0% vs. 10.69%), or purging behaviors (e.g., vomiting: 11.7% vs. 4.4%) compared with heterosexual males" (French et al. 119). The statistics listed surrounded by parenthesis represents the percentage of each sexual orientation involved in each category of activities. In spite of the facts that demonstrate the high percentage of homosexual males in the world of eating disorders, the reason why homosexual men are at an increased danger of developing an eating disorder is also worth looking at. One reason is the cultural pressure "within the homosexual community to be thin;" according to Carolyn Costin, "homosexual men weighed significantly less than heterosexual men and were more likely to be underweighted and to desire an underweight ideal weight" (30). Another reason is that homosexual males can "temporarily resolve their sexual conflicts" by "reducing their sexual drive through starvation" (Costin 30). The third reason is that "men tend to evaluate potential romantic partner on the basis of physical appearance to a greater extent than do women;" therefore, so as to attract male partners, gays are in higher potential to endure disordered eating (French et al. 124). Male eating disorders seem to prevail in the gay community, but they are also seen in males who have been teased about their weight.

In addition, males who have experienced being teased about their weight at an early age will be more likely to take on "unhealthy weight control behaviors" than their peers (Haines et al. 209). As examined in "Weight Teasing and Disordered Eating Behaviors in Adolescents," Haines et al. says, "[Compared] with youths who did not report frequent weight teasing, those who experience frequent weight teasing had 2.0 times the odds of engaging in unhealthy weight-control behaviors and binge eating" (209). To discover the cause and effect that beneath weight teasing and male eating disorders, one possibility is the direct consequence-depression symptoms after being teased, which might lead to the attempt to diet in order to "avoid further weight-related stigmatization" (214). Comparing with gender differences, "being teased about weight was positively associated with unhealthy weight-control behaviors among males but not female adolescents" (214). The explanation is that in contrast with females, men have probably received a much smaller range of sources to reach the notion of the ideal body than their female "counterparts" (214); therefore, men are more likely than females to turn to disordered eating once being teased about their weight. This means weight teasing, which is a major feature affecting males' concerns about appearance, will be a high risk factor of disordered eating; meanwhile, certain types of male athletes will become the victims of eating disorders as well.

Furthermore, athletic involvement, which is often related to frequent weight concerns, may predispose men to dissimilar types of eating disorders. There are chiefly three typical types of sports contributing to the pervasiveness of eating-disordered behaviors. As indicated by Antonia Baum in "Eating Disorders in the Male Athlete," there are "sports where aesthetics are critical to the judging or scoring process, sports where the athlete has to make weight for competition, and sports in which low body fat is deemed advantageous to performance" (3). For example, male horse racing jockeys are vulnerable to engage in eating disorders. Contrary to female jockeys, male counterparts are not "naturally lighter and smaller," so they have to pay more effort to achieve their weight goals; and frequently submit their bodies to the yo-yo effort to "re-achieve racing weight after gains in the off-season" (Baum 3). Just like a quote from a retired jockey, Christine Body says, "...for many jockeys, the hot-box (sauna) is their home away from home" (qtd. in Baum 4). Besides those types of sports that produce disordered eating among male athletes, the abuse of anabolic steroids, which can be defined as a sub-category of disordered eating, has a strong negative impact on male athletes. For instance, "as long ago as the 1970s, it was estimated that as many as 80-90% of weight-lifters, and 75% of all professional football players were using anabolic steroids" (4). Another example indicates that body-builders are on "an increased risk for the development of eating disorders based on a higher body mass index...a higher incidence of dieting and weight fluctuation, alcohol abuse and anabolic steroid use" (4). Military men, as well as professional male athletes, make up a certain portion of male with disordered eating.

Moreover, military personnel will be more expected to be diagnosed with eating disorders; especially males, who are made up of a much larger percentage of the military, are the first to be affected. "[A] cross-sectional survey of advanced individual training U.S. Army soldiers at Aberdeen Proving Ground, Mary-land" (Warner 147), "noted a 7% prevalence of disordered eating in male individuals [where] men constitute ~85% of the military" and female eating disorders are composed of 29.6% female military personnel (150). Hereby, under the hypothesis of total number of examined soldiers are 100, so there are 85 male armed forces and 15 female soldiers. Furthermore, there are approximate 6 (85 * 0.07) military men are eating disorders while 4 (15 * 0.296) female soldiers are estimated suffering from disordered eating. Therefore, as uttered by Liza Lukacs, "In some young male occupation groups, such as in the armed forces, the appearance of physical strength and muscularity has particular importance" (152). Factors that placed male soldiers at higher risk for disordered eating were variable, but not unpredictable. One possibility is the stress imposed on military personnel. As a special profession, male military need to keep fit and adjust to the best condition to face life and death. Therefore, for them, acquiring particular body strength and enough muscle is not only the pursuit of outlook, but also the assignment as the guard of the nation. Once finished introducing what kinds of men will be more likely to develop into eating disorders, the next portion is about the roles of dentists and dental hygienists as the secondary prevention of male eating disorders.

Intentional starvation, exercising excessively, depression, and hospitalization are details typical for an eating disorder;

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EF_Team2 1 / 1,709  
May 8, 2007   #2
Greetings!

You've written a very interesting essay with lots of supporting information! I noted just a few things:

To discover the cause and effect that is [or "lies"] beneath weight teasing and male eating disorders, one possibility is the direct consequence-depression symptoms after being teased, which might lead to the attempt to diet in order to "avoid further weight-related stigmatization" (214). - This sentence is a little garbled-sounding. Consider simplifying it.

Contrary to female jockeys, male counterparts are not "naturally lighter and smaller," so they have to pay more effort to achieve their weight goals - Say either "put in more effort" or "pay more attention"; I've never heard of "paying more effort."

Once finished introducing what kinds of men will be more likely to develop into eating disorders, the next portion is about the roles of dentists and dental hygienists as the secondary prevention of male eating disorders. - This sentence seemed out of place here.

Good work!

Thanks,

Sarah, EssayForum.com


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