A study by University of Newcastle youth sociology researcher Dr Julia Coffey has shown that body image is an increasing concern for young men

Body image an increasing concern for young men

24 July 2014

A study by University of Newcastle youth sociology researcher Dr Julia Coffey has shown that body image is an increasing concern for young men, but many consider it something they have to face alone.

This desire to be a particular shape is also being linked to a host of other health issues for young people.

In her recent article published on The Conversation, titled Muscle Mania: young men aren't alone with body image concerns, Dr Coffey said this research shows that while there is a high degree of awareness about the impact of body image concerns on the health and well-being of young women, young men often feel their experiences aren't shared among their peers. As a result, they are less likely to talk about the issue among peers or ask for help. This can have a serious impact and relate to other mental health issues.

Dr Coffey noted social media, celebrity culture and the portrayal of men's bodies as objects of desire among the contributors to young men becoming more concerned and vulnerable about their bodies.

"We need to do more to understand the dynamics of gender relations and how they intersect with health outcomes, and can be changed," said Dr Coffey.

"I want to do further study to see how people negotiate these things over time, because the ideal many young people are working towards isn't attainable, or sustainable."

In a follow-up to Dr Coffey's article on The Conversation, she was recently interviewed by NBN news on young men's body shape concerns.

Dr Julia Coffey's NBN interview 

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