YOUNGER AND OLDER GAY MEN'S BODIES

Mens bodies and mens body image have increasingly been gathering attention from both research academics and popular press journalists over the past 10 years. Arguably Western culture has tended to identify these body image issues in men as heterosexual notions. Research on gay mens body image has been increasing and there is now evidence to suggest that gay males have been identified as presenting a greater risk of body image disturbance than heterosexual males as a consequence of an aesthetically driven gay culture. Recent debate has focussed more on younger gay males as it has been argued that such a demographic are more likely to be impacted by the 'look', which is centred around body physique, fashion and personal grooming. Older gay males have tended to be overlooked in this discussion. Therefore their perspectives on bodies have been included in this paper to highlight the issues that both young and ageing gay men identify as being significant within the context of their lives. Keywords: body image, younger gay men, older gay men, life histories.

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