Femininity, mental weakness and difference : male students account for anorexia nervosa in men

McVittie, C., Hepworth, J., & Kirk, D. (2005) Femininity, mental weakness and difference : male students account for anorexia nervosa in men. Sex Roles, 53(5-6), pp. 413-418.

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The purpose of this study was to examine how men account for the diagnosis in men of anorexia nervosa (AN), a condition commonly associated with women. Male students participated in focus group discussions of topics related to AN. Discussions were tape-recorded with participants' consent, transcribed, and then analyzed using discourse analysis. The participants spontaneously constructed AN as a female-specific condition. When asked to account for AN in men, they distanced AN from hegemonic masculinities in ways that sustained both dominant masculine identities and gender-specific constructions of AN. These findings show how issues of health and gender are interlinked in everyday understandings of AN. Future researchers might usefully consider how the construction of gender-specific illness implicates wider notions of both feminine and masculine gender identities.

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11 citations in Scopus
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3 citations in Web of Science®

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ID Code: 60196
Item Type: Journal Article
Refereed: Yes
Keywords: anorexia nervosa, social construction, discourse analysis, masculinities
DOI: 10.1007/s11199-005-6763-2
ISSN: 0360-0025
Divisions: Current > Schools > School of Public Health & Social Work
Deposited On: 23 May 2013 23:29
Last Modified: 30 Jul 2013 05:32

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