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Part V Chapter 25. Part 5: Ch. 25 Data derived from self-help group - Bulimics/Anorexics In Self-Help (BANISH) Weekly two-hour meetings observed for.

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Presentation on theme: "Part V Chapter 25. Part 5: Ch. 25 Data derived from self-help group - Bulimics/Anorexics In Self-Help (BANISH) Weekly two-hour meetings observed for."— Presentation transcript:

1 Part V Chapter 25

2 Part 5: Ch. 25

3 Data derived from self-help group - Bulimics/Anorexics In Self-Help (BANISH) Weekly two-hour meetings observed for two years Informal interviews with 15 group members lasting 2-4 hours Group members were white and all but one female Primarily college students of upper-middle or lower-upper class households Duration of eating disorders ranged from 3-15 years Part 5: Ch. 25

4 Among most anorexics & bulimics dieting figures prominently Dieters are conformists in adherence to cultural norms of thinness Slim bodies regarded as worthy and attractive Overweight bodies as physically and morally unhealthy: “obscene” “lazy” “slothful” Part 5: Ch. 25

5 Emphasis on being slim impacts everyone, women most of all given focus on women’s appearance & reflected in fact that many women diet for cosmetic reasons Anorexics and bulimics are also conformist in their strong commitment to other conventional norms and goals: they excel at school and work, join honor societies etc. Part 5: Ch. 25

6 (Over) Conformity appears as pervasive in lives & families of anorexics and bulimics – close-knit families with strong attachment to parents Parents often preoccupied with exercising & food preparation; dieting and loss of weight received much approval In summary: subjects exhibited stark conformity to cultural norms of thinness, achievement, compliance & parental attachment Part 5: Ch. 25

7 The major inducement for both eating adaptations is drive for slimness: With slimness comes self-respect & sense of superiority over “unsuccessful dieters” Primary deviance : although subjects exhibited anorexic or bulimic behavior, they didn’t consider themselves to be anorexic or bulimic Part 5: Ch. 25

8 Significant others at first complimented weight loss of subjects until they approached emaciation & then became concerned Significant others became aware of anorexic’s compulsive exercising, food prep, and eating rituals Significant others began to question how bulimic respondents could eat as much as 10,000 calories a day & still stay slim; some subjects “caught in the act” Part 5: Ch. 25

9 Gradually family & friends or medical personnel labeled respondents “anorexic” or “bulimic” Anorexics tended to resist & deny the label: they were not skinny or skeletal in appearance, merely “ultra-healthy" Several respondents admitted they were anorexic following realization that their lives were disrupted by their eating disorder Part 5: Ch. 25

10 Bulimics in contrast more readily admitted their deviance when confronted Secondary deviance is a response to society’s labeling: it is generally prolonged, alters self- concept, and affects performance of social roles. Application of eating disorder labels results in secondary deviance: respondents internalize these new identities Eating disorder gradually became central focus of subject’s life: role engulfment Part 5: Ch. 25

11 Eating disorder becomes master status: The “school brain” becomes the “school anorexic” As a result subjects’ interactions with others were altered: Feelings of self-consciousness around others who knew of their disorder, keeping bathroom door open Subjects suffered negative consequences such as stigmatization from being labeled & responded to on the basis of their eating disorder Part 5: Ch. 25

12 While anorexics and bulimics are seen as “deviants,” what makes them conformists? What differences exist between anorexics & bulimics in terms of accepting a “deviant” identity? Part 5: Ch. 25

13 Part V Chapter 26

14 Part 5: Ch. 26

15 Study based on interviews with 114 convicted, imprisoned rapists: 47 admitted they had used force on victim 35 denied contact with victim 32 didn’t define their acts as rape Excuses: Admitters : Admit wrongfulness of act Deniers : Deny full responsibility by distancing themselves from blame Part 5: Ch. 26


17 Women in society often portrayed as victims of their own seduction 31% of deniers presented extreme view of victim as not only willing to have sex but also as the aggressor, a seductress who lured them into sexual action 25% of deniers presented less extreme view of victim as willing & made sexual advances 9% of deniers said victim was willing to have sex for money or drugs Part 5: Ch. 26

18 34% of deniers describe their victim as unwilling at least at first but had not resisted enough or thought “no” meant “yes” (although weapon used in 64% of these cases) 24% of admitters used claim that victim didn’t resist or not enough to explain why they believed victim was willing & therefore it was not rape Part 5: Ch. 26

19 69% of deniers justified their act by drawing on cultural stereotype that once rape began victim not only willing but also enjoyed it 20% of admitters believed victim enjoyed herself Part 5: Ch. 26

20 69% of deniers and 22% of admitters refer to victims’ sexual reputation (i.e., prostitute or “loose” woman) 22% of deniers & 17% of admitters evoke stereotype that women provoke rape by their seductive dress and attire Intent of these accounts clear: deniers argue victim got what she deserved Part 5: Ch. 26

21 Only 16% of deniers claim complete innocence; most accept some responsibility They “plead” guilty to a lesser charge: being oversexed, adulterous, contributing to delinquency of minor, nothing as serious as rape Deniers attempt to discredit and blame the victim while presenting their own actions as justified given the situation Part 5: Ch. 26


23 Admitters, unlike deniers, regard their act as morally wrong & beyond justification They blame themselves rather than the victim Admitters explain their crime in a way that allow them to retain moral integrity: they offer excuses to demonstrate intent was absent or responsibility diminished Part 5: Ch. 26

24 (1) Use of alcohol and drugs 77% of admitters and 72% of deniers equally likely to acknowledge consuming substance but admitters said they were affected by the substance If not the cause of their conduct, it was at least contributing factor: Part 5: Ch. 26


26 (2) Emotional problems 40% of admitters report belief an emotional problem at root of their rape behavior such as unhappy childhood or marital-domestic situation 80% of admitters and 25% of deniers indicate a precipitating event such as upsetting problem of everyday living and the majority involve rage due to a wife or girlfriend Part 5: Ch. 26

27 Yet overwhelming majority of rapists not seriously mentally ill just seem less able to cope with ordinary problems of everyday life Admitters portray themselves as temporarily “sick” at time of rape, not “themselves,” hence the rape was idiosyncratic not typical behavior for them Admitters thus assert a non-deviant identity despite expressing disgust for their act Part 5: Ch. 26

28 (3) Nice guy image Admitters further neutralize their crime and project a non-rapist identity by self-portrayal as a “nice-guy” 57% of admitters express regret and sorrow for victim Schlenker & Darby (1981) explain significance of apologies beyond obvious expression of regret: one can admit guilt while at same time seeking pardon Part 5: Ch. 26

29 What are some of the shared characteristics of admitters & deniers of rape? What are the (external) contributing factors for the views of women in our society? Part 5: Ch. 26

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