The Unique Experience of Eating Disorders within the Male Population: A Review of Existing Stigma, Knowledge Gaps, and Gender Bias within their Recognition, Diagnosis, and Treatment
The present study synthesizes the recent research related to the experiences of males who struggle with eating disorders. Three universal themes emerged: first, a blame-based stigma surrounding eating disorders, specifically in the male population; second, a lack of education within the male population regarding the pathologies and treatment options available for those suffering from eating disorders; third, significant gender bias in the treatment of eating disorders, particularly among the assessment tools used to diagnose them. Early findings suggest that specific focus on the biological and genetic factors of eating disorders seems to be the best method to reduce blame based stigma. In addition, the most practical way to counteract the gender bias exhibited by assessment tools is the development and popularization of male specific eating disorder assessments.