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Stigmatization of Male and Female Sufferers of Anorexia Nervosa

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Description: Research indicates that the public views eating-disordered individuals as responsible for their illness. Stemming from the misconception that eating disorders are "female" illnesses and that men experience less social pressure to be thin, male anorexia nervosa (AN) sufferers may experience greater stigmatization than females. Stigmatization was assessed using the Measure of Disease Related Stigma (MDRS) which, based on Weiner's theory of attribution, examines participants' cognitive attributions, emotional reactions, and behavioral intentions toward the target. AN targets, described in vignettes, were either male or female and were assigned one of three levels of onset controllability (high, low, and unknown). Analyses did not reveal either significant main effects of gender or onset controllability, nor did they reveal a significant interaction effect. Possible explanations include homogeneity of participant sample and demand characteristics. Further research is needed to determine whether differential stigmatization of male and female AN sufferers exists, as it bears important consequence for treatment and outcome.
Language: English
Format: Degree Work