Using Objectification Theory to Examine the Effects of Media on Gay Male Body Image

Nicholas Lanzieri, Tom Hildebrandt

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Research has increasingly noted that gay male adults are more at risk for developing body image dissatisfaction than other male populations. Body image issues warrant attention, particularly since they have been connected to the development of disordered eating patterns. Studies have often traced gay male body dissatisfaction to various sociocultural elements and phenomena, particularly the media. In fact, various media genres have been implicated as being instrumental in propagating idealized male physiques, which in turn may negatively influence observers. Using objectification theory, this paper aims to review the process by which media imagery are internalized by some gay men and how such internalizations harmfully impact their body image. The clinical implications and treatment of body dissatisfaction will be reviewed in terms of social work practice with gay male populations.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)105-113
Number of pages9
JournalClinical Social Work Journal
Issue number1
StatePublished - Mar 1 2016


  • Body image
  • Gay
  • Media
  • Objectification
  • Social comparison

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health(social science)
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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