An Exploration of Male Adolescents' Body Image Perceptions
Lao, Mary Grace
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There has been an increasing concern among researchers and the general population of our culture's increasing emphasis on "ideal" physical attractiveness-for both females and males. Despite this growing concern, research on body image has focused primarily on women and girls, with little research aimed specifically for males. Prior research (Grogan & Richards, 2002; Hargreaves & Tiggemann, 2006) stated that body image was a "feminine" or a "gay" issue, according to men and boys. The present study investigates this issue, particularly within the theoretical framework of multiple selves and gender theories. This exploratory case study involved semi-structured interviews with six male adolescents between the ages of 13 and 18 years. Researcher's fieldnotes were taken after the interviews. Content analysis of the interviews and fieldnotes revealed that for these six male adolescents, body image is not relevant to them, as they think about and discuss their issues of physical appearance with family and close peers. Traditional stereotypic notions of masculinity and what it means to be an adolescent male for the participants are discussed within the context of developmentally appropriate and gender-inclusive curriculum.