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Women struggle against a male dominated structure to grasp control and shape their own identities. In her analysis of the "feminine mystique," Betty Friedan states "It is my thesis that the core of the problem for women today is not sexual but a problem of identity -a stunting or evasion of growth" (Chernin 17). Friedan is correct--many women cannot define the boundaries of the self and, further, cannot find an identity within the larger social structure to claim for themselves. These three issues--self, autonomy, and identity--are interwoven as causes behind the development of eating disorders.


English Language and Literature