Acta Colombiana de Psicología
Print version ISSN 0123-9155
The male body image has been a subject of interest and concern in recent years, with muscle dysmorphia attracting most attention. This is a study of differential aspects of body image, physical self-description, social and physical anxiety, and some behaviour aspects related to bodybuilders. Seventy-one (36.24%) competing bodybuilders, 79 (36.24%) non-competing bodybuilders and 68 (31.19%) sedentary participants take part. They are all men. As opposed to the non-competitors, it is the competitors who mostly admit to comparing themselves physically with other gym colleagues (Chi2=9.993, p=0.002), who rate themselves negatively after these comparisons (Chi2=21.571, p=0.000) and who avoid showing their bodies in non-sporting environment (Chi2=3.88, p=0.049); although they dont differ in the time they spend thinking that they are not very muscular or concerned with their image (t=1,742, p=0,084). Additionally, this same group recognises a greater number of checking behaviours - looking at themselves in the mirror (t=2.644, p=0.01) and weighing themselves (t=2.321, p=0.022). In the Body Shape Questionnaire there are no differences between groups, except when the active ones are considered together as opposed to the sedentary ones, since this group showed a greater desire to lose weight (t=2.241, p=0.026). With respect to the two active groups, they see themselves better individually in comparison to the non-active and sedentary groups in Physical Self-description (F=9.472, p=0.000), health aspects (F=2.988 p=0.052), the body as a whole (F=17.806 p=0.000) and self-esteem (F=9.290, p=0.000), as well as in their Fitness Self-description (F=39.791, p=0.000), regarding aspects of fitness (F=16.889, p=0.000), strength (F=50.507, p=0.000), stamina (F=17.576, p=0.000) and physical activity (F=119.405, p=0.000). On the other hand, in terms of social physical anxiety levels, the two active groups scored higher than the sedentary group in the global value of the scale (F=15.353, p=0.000) and its two subdivisions, satisfaction with body appearance (F=15.853, p=0.000) and expectations of a negative evaluation of the body (F=9.995, p=0.000).
Keywords : descriptive study through a survey; body image; bodybuilding; bigorexia; muscle dysmorphia; anxiety; self image.