Perceived Sexual Orientation of Men and Women with Eating Disorders and Obesity

Jamal Essayli, Jessica M. Murakami, Janet D. Latner

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


The present study explores the perceived sexual orientation of hypothetical men and women with various eating disorders and obesity. Undergraduates were randomly provided with one vignette describing a male or female with anorexia nervosa (AN), bulimia nervosa (BN), binge-eating disorder, or obesity and were asked about the target’s likely sexual orientation. Significant differences emerged between male and female targets with AN and BN on the forced-choice question, with a greater percentage of participants indicating that the male targets were probably non-heterosexual. On continuous items, participants rated the female targets as significantly more likely to be heterosexual and significantly less likely to be homosexual than male targets. The general public may be more likely to perceive men with eating disorders as gay or bisexual relative to females with eating disorders. Perceived sexual orientation might be an important factor to consider when exploring the potentially unique perspectives of men with eating disorders.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)735-745
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Homosexuality
Issue number6
StatePublished - May 12 2019

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Gender Studies
  • Social Psychology
  • Education
  • Psychology(all)


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