Is Internalized Homonegativity Related to Body Image?



The authors examined relationships among internalized homonegativity, body image, eating disturbance, and self-esteem of gay men. Internalized homonegativity is believed to be experienced by all gay men and is tied to self-esteem, which is a factor in the etiology of eating disorders and body image disturbance. It was hypothesized that internalized homonegativity would predict body image, self-esteem, and eating disturbance. A total of 213 gay men participated in an online survey that used established measures. Results showed that specific components of internalized homonegativity predict body image, self-esteem, and bulimic behaviors. Findings imply that internalized homonegativity is a viable link for assessing body image and self-esteem among gay men. This study adds new dimension to the literature by linking internalized homonegativity with body image and by demonstrating a specific component of internalized homonegativity as predicting the variables tested. Future research and limitations are discussed.