OBJECTIVE: This study was designed to assess the characteristics of men
with eating disorders in the community. METHOD: The authors recruited 25
men meeting DSM-IV criteria for eating disorders and 25 comparison men
through advertisements in college newspapers. A second comparison group
comprised 33 women with bulimia nervosa who were recruited and interviewed
with virtually identical methods. RESULTS: The men with eating disorders
closely resembled the women with eating disorders but differed sharply from
the comparison men in phenomenology of illness, rates of comorbid
psychiatric disorders, and dissatisfaction with body image. Homosexuality
did not appear to be a common feature of men with eating disorders in the
community. Childhood physical and sexual abuse appeared slightly more
common among the eating-disordered men than among the comparison men.
CONCLUSIONS: Eating disorders, although less common in men than in women,
appear to display strikingly similar features in affected individuals of
the two genders.