YOUNG MEN STRUGGLING WITH NEGATIVE BODY IMAGE

Large, Z. YoungMinds. Published online: 7 August 2016

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New research suggests negative body image can be a problem for young men just as much as for young women.

Young men are increasingly acknowledging body image issues as a struggle for both genders, with many secondary school boys viewing eating disorders (56%), dieting (55%) and extreme exercising (48%) as gender-neutral issues, according to new research by the advertising think tank Credos.

In the survey of 1,005 boys, 53% of secondary-school pupils said advertising is one of the influences putting pressure on them to look good – just behind friends (68%) and social media (57%).

Healthy or Extreme?

Almost half of the secondary boys surveyed said they would consider exercising with the specific intention of building muscle and bulking up (48%) a fifth having already done this previously (21%), suggesting a concerning majority of 69% aspire to a muscular physique.

Some young men thought they might try more extreme measures to change the way they look. In particular, the 35% of secondary-school pupils who have suffered from bullying were more likely to consider using steroids (15% versus 6% of those who hadn’t been bullied), skipping meals (15% vs 7%) and undergoing cosmetic surgery (18% vs 8%).

Read the blog post here

Read the original research report here

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