I am doing a presentation in my Development Across Cultures class about adolescence and eating disorders. My objective is to focus on eating disorders within this age group in terms of the development stage and the differences that might appear culturally. (By "development stage" I mean that in adolescence, a person thinks differently, is still maturing, going through puberty; Erickson's identity vs. role confusion stage.) I thought it would be interesting to get your opinions, because there is only so much journal article dryness one can stand.
My basic question...
Depending on the country you are from, do you think that the development of eating disorders in general is influenced by different factors than other countries?
Whether it be media influence as the key influence, status of your gender, objectification of your gender, and attitudes towards eating and food. I'm looking for your opinion from growing up in your own culture.
I'd have to also say that such unique contributing factors such as rape, abuse, and other trauma that is specific to you be sort of removed, unless it can be applied universally within your culture.
My own thoughts are that in America, there is so much emphasis on outward appearance and maintaining an aura of perfection that eating disorders become a means for a teen to a.)deal with pressures and chaos within their lives (ie. "The hurried child"), which can be confusing and stressful b.) find an outlet with which to maintain this perfection on the outside that is expected of them, while holding the undesirable things on the inside. if that makes any sense. Not so much media influence, but I think pressure to succeed and conform like all the rest is stronger.
I hope I didn't just confuse the hell out of everyone. I can be INCREDIBLY long-winded
EDIT: Before I get a response, I just wanted to add that I do know that causes cannot be narrowed to one specific thing at all. Everyone is different. I'm looking for culture/country specific causes. :)