ABSTRACT

Introduction Being born female is the single-best predictor of risk for developing an eating disorder (Striegel-Moore &. Bulik, 2007). Although eating disorders are not the only gendered psychiatric condition, the degree of gender disparity is much greater than in other diagnoses. Anorexia nervosa and bulimia nervosa are 10 times more common in females than males, and binge-eating disorder is 3 times more common (Treasure, 2007). The increased incidence of eating disorders since the late 1970s suggests that something is happening in the lives of contemporary women to place them at such risk. To understand and effectively treat these conditions, we must use a paradigm that helps to answer the questions: Why women? Why now? The objective, linear medical model falls short, while the feminist framework appropriately conceptualizes eating disorders as solutions to the dilemmas of powerlessness and oppression that women experience.