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Revista médica de Chile

Print version ISSN 0034-9887


BEHAR A, Rosa; DE LA BARRERA C, Mónica  and  MICHELOTTI C, Julio. Gender identity and eating disorders. Rev. méd. Chile [online]. 2001, vol.129, n.9, pp.1003-1011. ISSN 0034-9887.

Background: A possible role of the feminine gender role in the genesis of eating disorders is possible, since most patients with these disorders are women. Aim: To compare some traits of gender identity between females with eating disorders and a control group. Material and methods: An structured clinical interview based on the DSM-IV diagnostic criteria for eating disorders and the Bem Sex Role Inventory (BSRI) were administered to 63 patients that fulfilled the DSM-IV criteria for anorexia nervosa or bulimia nervosa (ED group) and 63 comparison subjects (C group). Results: Forty three percent of patients in contrast with 23.8% of controls were classified within the feminine category. Likewise 19% of patients and 31.7% of controls were qualified as Androgynous; 27% of patients and 43% of controls were qualified as Undifferentiated. There were significant differences between patients and controls in 22 items of the BSRI (p <0.01). Both groups rejected and were identified with some feminine, masculine and neutral qualities. Discussion: Femininity emerged as the main trait of gender identity in patients suffering of eating disorders. In contrast, Androgyny showed by the control group could result in a better adaptability and flexibility to face difficult life circumstances (Rev Méd Chile 2001; 129: 1003-11).

Keywords : Anorexia nervosa; Bulimia; Eating-disorders; Gender identity.

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