Body Image Essay

Decent Essays

Body image is a multidimensional construct that plague society at large. In particular, eating disorders and sexual abuse impact a large majority of females. Sexual abuse is classified as, “a violent act against an individual that occurs within the context of an extreme power imbalance” (Stermac, Piran, and Sheridan, 1993, p. 251). However, this definition of sexual abuse is especially narrow and must be broadened. Sexual assault frequently goes unreported because victims are discouraged that their allegation is false. Though the traumatic event is over, the violation replays in the victims mind regularly. Moreover, denial and refusal to acknowledge the abuse instills anxiety, fear, guilt, anger, depression, and low self-esteem among victims. Clients seeking treatment for an eating disorder may not recognize the connection between their eating disturbances and sexual trauma and in consequence are disinclined to reveal a history of abuse to their therapist. Sexually abused patients often develop unhealthy coping mechanisms that stem from their traumatic experiences. Thus, engaging in disordered eating is an accessible option for …show more content…

The schema model of the self-concept is a contemporary approach to the study of the self-developed within the field of cognitive social psychology that is based on the assumption that “behavioural responses to stimuli are mediated through an internal system of knowledge structures” (Stein, 1996, p. 100). Positive self-schemas are formed earlier in development; however, a stressful life event may trigger the onset of personality disturbance (1996). For instance, children who experience traumatic events damage their self-concept and assume chronic perceptions of helplessness, an overestimation of danger, and an underestimation self-efficacy and self-worth

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