Young men who have sex with men (YMSM) may be at greater risk for body dissatisfaction, compared to their heterosexual peers. However, differences within YMSM populations are understudied, precluding the identification of YMSM who are at greatest risk. This study examined body dissatisfaction in a racially/ethnically diverse sample of YMSM ages 18–19 in New York City. Using cross-sectional data from the baseline visit of a longitudinal cohort study of YMSM (N = 591), body dissatisfaction was assessed using the Male Body Attitudes Scale. Three outcomes were modeled using linear regression: (1) overall body dissatisfaction, (2) muscularity dissatisfaction, and (3) body fat dissatisfaction. Covariates in the models included race/ethnicity, sexual orientation, BMI, gay community affiliation, and internalized homonegativity. White YMSM experienced greater body dissatisfaction across the three models. Internalized homonegativity was a statistically significant predictor of dissatisfaction across the three models, though its association with body dissatisfaction was relatively small. The findings point to future avenues of research, particularly qualitative research to explore demographic and cultural nuances in body attitudes among YMSM.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
- Body dissatisfaction
- Body image
- Internalized homonegativity
- Sexual orientation