Women are pushing back against the unrealistic body ideals that have long dominated American society, speaking out about discriminatory, fatphobic “norms” and sharing stories about related eating disorders. Such conversations still have a long way to go, but they are at least being had. This is not the case among men.
Social psychologist Jaclyn A. Siegel was pursuing her master’s degree at Villanova University in the mid-2010s, researching how workplace environments can support or hinder eating-disorder onset, maintenance, and recovery, when she noticed that little information existed on eating disorders in men. This research gap encouraged Siegel to study the issue as she worked toward her PhD at the University of Western Ontario. Concentrating on the intersection of gender and eating disorders, she published research on topics like self-objectification, body-based social comparisons, body shame, and father-daughter communication about body image. Her current research focuses on the effects eating disorders have on intimate relationships.