A new study provides evidence that men’s body self-assessment predicts levels of sexual self-esteem, and that this relationship is moderated by body-focused anxiety and gender norms in men. Published in psychology and sexuality.
Research has shown that poor body image has a range of negative consequences, but most of this research has focused on women. I was trying to understand better and was particularly interested in sexual respect.
“My interest in investigating male extremist groups has resulted in one particular extremist group (“incels”) claiming that men cannot find romantic or sexual partners if they do not appear attractive. study author David Hattie, a member of the ORGASM Research Lab, who conducted the study as part of his honors dissertation for his BA in Psychology at Kwantlen University of Technology , said:
“What was particularly fascinating was how hyperfocused incels acted on specific parts of the body. Next, we decided to investigate the relationship between male body image and sexual satisfaction in the general population.”
Researchers recruited a sample of 298 male participants. The mean age of the sample he was 32.34 years. Participants completed a series of questionnaires, including one known as the Body Esteem Questionnaire-Revised. Participants indicated how they felt about different body parts (arms, chest, etc.) and physical characteristics (energy level, body coordination, etc.) on a scale he indicated on a five-point scale.
Their responses were divided into three dimensions: upper body strength, physical condition, and sexual attractiveness. Hattie and his colleagues found that all three of his aspects of male physical worthiness were positively correlated with sexual worthiness. Body appraisals related to wrist, nose, chin, and height were also associated with sexual appraisals. The researchers said this was “a particularly novel finding that has not been previously reported in the literature.”
In other words, people who have positive feelings about their bodies would agree with statements such as “I would rate my sexuality fairly highly,” and would agree with statements such as “I doubt my sexuality at times.” are more likely to disagree with what is said.
“However, this relationship was complicated by incorporating other variables,” Hattie told PsyPost. We found that the strength of the relationship between sexual attraction and sexual self-esteem was weakest when body image anxiety was high. Increased body image anxiety negatively affects men’s sexual self-esteem”
Those with high levels of body image anxiety reported that they did not want their partner to see them completely naked during sex, that they tried to hide certain areas of their body during sex, and that I I am conscious of my body.”
Participants also completed a questionnaire reporting how much they agreed with various statements about masculinity. Questionnaires assessed male role norms related to restrictive emotions, autonomy through mechanical skills, negativity toward sexual minorities, avoidance of femininity, importance of sex, toughness, and dominance.
An unexpected discovery upper body strength And sexual esteem was not mitigated by upholding male role norms.
“High conformity to male gender norms did not affect the relationship between upper body strength and sexual self-esteem,” Hattie said. “We hypothesized that a macho, muscular body shape would influence sexual self-esteem, especially in men who uphold male gender norms, but we did not find this result. Given that body image trends are shifting from a muscular ideal to a lean, toned ideal, perhaps this result is not surprising.
relationship between sexual attraction Sexual respect was strongest when support for male role norms was high. In contrast, condition Sexual respect was strongest when support for male role norms was low.
“High levels of conformity to male gender norms had a negative impact on the relationship between male physical condition and sexual self-esteem,” Hattie told PsyPost. One is that men who conform to the typically masculine body type may feel pressured to stay fit to enjoy their sexuality, while they are less likely to conform to male gender norms. Men gave more weight to other factors that contributed to their sexual esteem.”
“Together, our findings suggest that clinical and sexuality education programs should consider both positive and negative effects of male body image influencing sexual satisfaction and self-esteem. I will,” said Hattie.
Findings came after researchers controlled for overall levels of sexual activity and unstable beliefs in masculinity (or the belief that status as “male” is hard to gain but easy to lose). It was retained though. However, like all studies, this study has some caveats.
“There is a constant need to explore how the relationship between physical dignity and sexual self-esteem affects people in groups other than men,” Hattie explained. All statistical variables can affect body image and sexual esteem in different ways. There is still work to be done to investigate individual relationships. ”
“Body image is an evolving concept. Body dissatisfaction rates may differ among male, female, and nonbinary individuals, but negative body image in men is associated with excessive exercise, depression, and loneliness. , may contribute to long-term problems such as social comparison, sexual dissatisfaction, and eating disorders. I believe we should give men the space to discuss and process their impact on their lives.”
The study, Effect of Physical Self-Esteem on Male Sexual Self-Esteem, was authored by David M. Hattie, Flora Oswald, and Cory L. Pedersen.