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Keywords:

  • sexual orientation;
  • age;
  • disordered eating attitudes;
  • women

Abstract

Objective

We evaluated the influence of age on the association between sexual orientation and disordered eating attitudes and behaviors in women.

Method

Heterosexual (n = 47) and homosexual (n = 45) women recruited from the community completed self-report questionnaires including the Body Esteem Scale, the Eating Disorders Inventory-2, the Reasons for Exercise Inventory, and the Self Esteem Scale.

Results

A multivariate analysis of variance of eating disorder variables revealed a main effect for sexual orientation on drive for thinness and exercise to control weight and a main effect for age on body mass index (BMI) and body dissatisfaction, but it did not reveal a significant interaction between sexual orientation and age.

Discussion

Sexual orientation may influence certain types of disordered eating attitudes and behaviors in women such as endorsing an extreme ideal of thinness. However, homosexual and heterosexual women reported more similarities than differences. © 2003 by Wiley Periodicals, Inc. Int J Eat Disord 34: 370–374, 2003.