Eating Disorders

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Tara Anderson
Gender and Performance
Megan Orcholski
November 15, 2012
Eating disorders
“Approximately 7-10 million women across the country suffer from eating disorders. Most research into these serious disorders has been conducted on females. However, as many as a million men may also struggle with the diseases” stated EDAP in 2012. Eating disorders are very serious conditions that cause people distress by obsessing over not gaining weight and intense anxiety about food. Eating disorders have the highest mortality rate of any mental illness. Many people suffer from these disorders yet the majority of the focus falls on women. Most research and overall information is targeted towards woman. With the gender binary, the disconnected forms of masculine and feminine, woman are seen as a weaker gender and would be likely to have an eating disorder because of the mass media and wanting to be something they are not. The focus of this paper will fall upon men who suffer from eating disorders.

Research has shown that genetics has be a cause for eating disorders; like Anorexia nervosa, Bulimia nervosa, and Binge eating. These genes can be passed on from generation to generation. Doctors have been looking for genetic causes of eating disorders. “The next step of will be to specifically identify the gene or genes that may cause vulnerability to anorexia,” Berrettini says. New research on genes is coming out every day. Even though eating disorders can be in your genes, there are studies that show eating disorders could be socially learned. Socially learned eating disorders mostly come from the media. Everyone sees the stars with the “perfect” body type. Men and boys often see their favorite stars on the TV and want to be like them. Tara Carney and Johann Louw made a study that consisted of a survey and many interviews. They made an analysis of the data and put it in to a “paradigm model”. Showing that most men are not happy with there body. With socially learned eating disorders there are some sports that push you to have an eating disorder. To start of with there are a few sports that have a representation of favoring low weighted athletes. These athletes include wrestlers, jockeys, and runners. In wrestling its called “cutting” weight. According to the American College of Sports Medicine, athletes (in that field) often believe that losing weight will improve their chances of winning. In this section I am going to use articles that have been in newspapers and reports of an onset of eating disorders like “Weight Cutting Waning Among College Wrestlers”. There are also a lot of different studies on jockeys and runners with eating disorders.

Sports can be a big cause of most men having eating disorders, but it doesn’t always have to do with athletics. It is also can be considered as a woman’s disease, but eating disorders have been linked to homosexuality. In Maudsley Hospital in London they focused on the serotonin system. Its functions include determining appetite levels and sexual behavior (BBC).

Men and women have a big difference with eating disorders. According to Arnold Andersen, women who develop eating disorders because they feel fat before the onset of their disordered eating behaviors, typically they are near average weight (18). Men are more typically overweight medically before the development of the disorder. Men and women are going to react differently because men and women are different. Eating disorders have been studied more for woman then men. But, there are more women with eating disorders then men. This doesn’t make men less important. In fact, there are more studies coming out on men with eating disorders. The focus of this paper will fall upon men who suffer from eating disorders. There are many reasons that men have an eating disorder: genetics, socially learned, sports, or just playing a role. Genetics and Influences:

Genetic influences are one of the main causes of eating disorders. Studies...
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