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    Men Get Sexually Harassed Too - And It's Harder On Them Than Women
    By News Staff | May 9th 2013 10:26 AM | 10 comments | Print | E-mail | Track Comments

    Men who experience sexual harassment are far more likely than women to induce vomiting and take laxatives and diuretics - purging - in an attempt to control their weight, according to a new psychology paper.

    The survey was one of the first to examine the effects of sexual harassment on body image and eating behaviors in both women and men, and to learn that men are significantly more likely to engage in purging "compensatory" behaviors at high levels of sexual harassment. 

    It's no surprise that women self-report more sexual harassment and greater overall weight and shape concerns and disordered eating behavior (such as binge eating) but the finding among men was a surprise. They surveyed 2,446 college students, including 731 men, about sexual harassment, body image and eating behaviors.

    "Traditionally, there has been a misperception that men are not sexually harassed," said  lead author NiCole Buchanan, associate professor of psychology at Michigan State University. "And while women do experience much higher rates of sexual harassment, when men experience these kinds of behaviors and find them distressing, then you see the same types of responses you see in women – and in the case of compensatory behaviors, even more so."




    Michigan State University's NiCole Buchanan. Credit: Michigan State University

    Sexual harassment comes in many different forms and can lead to symptoms of anxiety and depression, concerns about body image and dysfunctional eating. Buchanan said there may be certain features of sexual harassment that are particularly powerful in triggering purging behaviors in males and that further research is needed to examine this possibility. 

    Eating disorders are increasing among men in the United States, particularly younger men, yet the vast majority of prevention programs are designed for girls and women, the study noted.

    "Although boys and men have lower rates of weight/shape concerns and eating disturbances, these issues are still significant and warrant intervention," Buchanan said.


    Published in Body Image


    Comments

    Gerhard Adam
    They surveyed 2,446 college students, including 731 men, about sexual harassment, body image and eating behaviors.
    Well, at least we are gaining more insight into the behavior of Homo collegium discipulo.  Perhaps this study may be applicable to Homo sapiens more generally.
    Mundus vult decipi
    KRA5H
    Dang it! The study is behind a paywall and I can't access it. For anyone with access to it, how does Buchanan define sexual harrassment of men in the study? What is the source of the harrassment? Faculty? Fellow students? Females? Males?
    "This page intentionally left blank." --Gödel
    Hank
    Just write her an email and she'll send it to you. She's not in the magazine selling business, she wants the research to be read.
    Hank
    Thanks. We don't bother to link to paywalled articles because independent science media has no reason to give giant corporations free advertising to articles no one can read anyway - if it's open access we do the full citation, and then individual writers do also.  A PDF on the scholars personal site is always welcome.
    KRA5H
    Dr. Buchanan sent me the study. reading it now...
    "This page intentionally left blank." --Gödel
    KRA5H
    The most striking is Figure 5. "Interaction between gender and sexual harassment on compensatory behaviors."

    "Compensatory Behaviors are behaviors meant to compensate or "un-do" eating. They are utilized to relieve guilt associated with eating and consuming more calories than intended or discomfort for a patient; or to relieve anxiety that may not be directly correlated with food/eating but provides physical and/or emotional relief. Examples include: purging via self-induced vomiting, misuse of laxatives, enemas, colonics or diuretics, fasting or restricting intake for a period of time following consumption, use of diet pills, chewing and spitting, or over-exercising."

    "This page intentionally left blank." --Gödel
    To chew coca leaves could be an alternative.

    I wish we had a few concrete, anecdotal descriptions of the episodes of sexual harassment that the male respondents experienced. Who were the harassers? What were they doing? All I can see in the paper is that respondents answered a multiple-choice questionnaire with a prefabricated selection of answers.

    With the number of overweight boys and men, I don't think the harassement is the. problem... The worst problem is the boys who are nurtured by single women family without having male figures.

    Also, I was deceived, disappointed, I thought that the sexual harassement means that tne hunting season was open for the hungry cougar...