Are eating disorders feminine addictions?

Reid, Marie and Burr, Jennifer (2000) Are eating disorders feminine addictions? Addiction Research, 8 (3). pp. 203-210. ISSN 1058-6989

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It is striking that women suffer eating disorders more often than men, while men suffer more often from substance use orders, as well as gambling. Drug problems and eating disorders appear to have increased over the past 30 years or so, or at least awareness of them has increased. Women are catching up with men's levels of drinking and drug use, while it is now recognised that some men suffer from eating disorders or restraint, but at much lower rates than women. Nonetheless, considerable separation remains. Currently women's drinking and drug use seems to be more socially accepted than men's eating disorders. Perhaps this is because as society becomes less heavily gendered stereotypically "masculine" behaviour has become more acceptable for women than stereotypically "feminine" behaviour is for men. Women now wear trousers and become doctors without comment, but relatively few men wear skirts or become nurses. Perhaps concerns with diet and the body are stereotypically feminine, while heavy drinking and alcoholism, as well as perhaps heroin use, are stereotypically masculine behaviour. We would like to raise the questions of whether substance use problems and eating disorders are gendered disorders, whether there are specific commonalities between them and whether social constructions of gender help to explain eating disorders, and perhaps other addictive behaviours.

Item Type: Article
Divisions: School of Arts, Social Sciences and Management > Psychology and Sociology
Date Deposited: 23 Jan 2009 14:36
Last Modified: 02 Feb 2017 15:37


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