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Homogamy: the Relationships and Sexual Partners of Normal-Weight Bulimic Women

  • J. Hubert Lacey (a1)
Abstract

This study reports the demography, weight, and alcohol and psychiatric histories of the sexual partners of 112 consecutive patients with bulimia nervosa, all from an urban catchment area. Seventy-three patients (65%) had a current sexual partner. The partners were of similar social background, but slightly older. On average, partners were overweight (110% of MMPW) and over 27% reported having an eating or weight problem. A quarter of the partners had been treated for a psychiatric or emotional disorder. Nearly 40% drank more than 36 units of alcohol a week, and 14% had received treatment or consulted a doctor for alcohol-related problems. Heavy-drinking partners and multi-impulsive bulimics sought out each other. A quarter of partners had themselves been raised in a nuclear family in which a member had received psychiatric treatment; 12% had had a mother or sister with an eating disorder. Thirty-seven per cent of patients used a ‘safe man’, their fear of being hurt stemming from low self-esteem and a general sense of ‘failure’, and for 11% the relationship was abusive.

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The British Journal of Psychiatry
  • ISSN: 0007-1250
  • EISSN: 1472-1465
  • URL: /core/journals/the-british-journal-of-psychiatry
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Homogamy: the Relationships and Sexual Partners of Normal-Weight Bulimic Women

  • J. Hubert Lacey (a1)
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