Despite the prevalence and impact of binge eating disorder (BED) symptoms among sexual minority individuals, few studies have examined factors that may be responsible for sexual orientation-based disparities in BED symptoms. We examined the relationship of sexual minority status to BED symptoms. Specifically, we hypothesized an indirect effect of sexual minority status on BED symptoms such that sexual minority individuals experienced more frequent weight-related teasing, which in turn was associated with greater weight bias internalization, which then led to greater BED symptoms. Undergraduate students (N = 688) of varying weight status, sexual orientation, and gender provided data. A path analysis model utilizing ordinary least squares regression was used to evaluate relationships between variables. Sexual minority participants had more frequent weight-related teasing, higher weight bias internalization, and more severe BED symptoms. Analyses supported both the indirect effect hypothesized above, and an indirect effect bypassing weight bias internalization. Additionally, a direct effect for sexual minority status on BED symptoms was found. Our results suggest that negative societal experiences are a key factor in understanding the greater BED symptoms that occur among sexual minority individuals.
|Psychology of Sexual Orientation and Gender Diversity
|Accepted/In press - 2022
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Gender Studies