As noted by Levesque and Vichesky , such factors may change the nature of integration into the gay community, which in turn may affect perceptions of attractiveness. This may be further enhanced by the strong emphasis within gay culture on physical appearance Epel et al.
Additionally, the value of muscularity may reflect the tendency to associate mus- cularity with masculinity Halkitis et al. Research indicates that these messages, along with societal prescriptions suggesting men's bodies are representative of their masculinity, may be detrimental to men's body image and to their overall health Filiault, There are a number of possible explanations for this pattern of findings.
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It may be useful, therefore, for future studies to exam- ine the ways in which discrepancies with the muscular ideal lead to lower body self- esteem and finally to psychological well-being. The importance of considering an individual's self-perceptions of sexual attractiveness when they present with concerns related to their sexual experiences or relationships, and the potential benefits of educational and therapeutic interventions designed to enhance self-perceptions of sexual attractiveness are discussed.
Indeed, simple sexual orientation scales, such as the one used in the present study to differentiate gay and heterosexual men, may not Research indicates that these messages, along with societal prescriptions suggesting men's bodies are representative of their masculinity, may be detrimental to men's body image and to their overall health Filiault,