Young Men, Health and Body Image in Contemporary Australia

Participant Information Statement

Thank you for responding to the advertisement regarding this project.

What is the research about?

Recent research has suggested that the appearance of the body is an increasingly important concern for many young men.

It is no longer considered vain, in any simple sense, for men to take an interest in their appearance, and being sexually attractive is considered an important part of being a successful man. Men’s bodies are increasingly on display in movies, advertising and popular culture, while the bodies of football players and other prominent athletes in Australia are routinely celebrated for their athleticism and form. There are increased opportunities for men to style the body with fashion, skincare, weight training and dietary practices, and magazines like Men’s Health promote specific health and lifestyle advice for men.

  • What do you do to keep fit and healthy?
  • Do you care about fashion, or what do you think of men who do?
  • How do you feel about your own body?

This project will explore these questions in interviews with young men aged 18-28.

What is involved?

Participation involves being interviewed by a trained researcher at a convenient location. The interview will take less than 60 minutes and be audio-recorded, but your details and any identifying information related to you will be altered to ensure your anonymity. Details of your participation will be kept strictly confidential.

Interview questions will ask you about how you think about and take care of your body, your motivations for working out or exercising (or not), the choices you make around clothing and appearance, and your thoughts on how men’s bodies are represented in society more generally.

What advantages are there to taking part?

The information generated from this project will help health researchers, policy analysts and others better understand the contemporary appearance and identity issues facing young men. Participation will provide you with an opportunity to share your own experiences and thoughts on these issues.

A $50 itunes or movie voucher will be provided to participants as compensation for their time.

How can I participate?

You can contact the chief investigator, Duane Duncan on (03) 9479 8709, or email

What will happen to the information I provide?

The information you provide may be used in presentations at conferences and in academic publications, but you will never be identified in any way. All tapes and transcripts resulting from your participation in the interview will be securely stored in filing cabinets and on password-protected computers. Only the Investigator will have access to the interview tapes. The recording of your interview and transcript will be kept for five years by the Investigator. At the end of five years the audio-recoding and transcript will be electronically deleted and any hard copies carefully disposed of. At any time, you may request a copy of any personal information about you. If you wish to receive a copy of the results of the study, you can give your name and address to the Investigator.

This study has been funded by a 2011 La Trobe University, Faculty of Health Research Grant. Any questions about this project may be directed to the Chief Investigator:

Dr Duane Duncan
Research Officer
Australian Research Centre in Sex, Health & Society, La Trobe University
215 Franklin St, Melbourne, Vic 3000
Tel: (03) 9479 8709

If you have any complaints or queries that the Chief Investigator has not been able to answer to your satisfaction, you may contact the Secretary, Human Ethics Committee, Research Services, La Trobe University, Victoria 3086 (ph: 03 9479 3583, e-mail:

There are no disadvantages, penalties or adverse consequences for not participating or for withdrawing prematurely from the research. You have the right to withdraw from active participation in this project at anytime and, further, to demand that data arising from your participation are not used in the research project provided this right is exercised within four weeks of the completion of your participation in the project. You are asked to complete the “Withdrawal of Consent Form” or to notify the investigator by email or telephone that you wish to withdraw your consent for your data to be used in this research project.