Lecture 11 - Gender and Health.Handouts - MENTAL AND...

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1 M ENTAL AND P HYSICAL H EALTH M ENTAL AND P HYSICAL H EALTH Women are more likely to seek psychotherapy and medical help Prevalence rates of psychological disorders differ Women – internalizing disorders (depression, anxiety) Men – externalizing disorders (substance abuse, violence) Reporting of symptoms also differs within disorders Depressed men – physical symptoms Depressed women – emotional symptoms P SYCHOLOGICAL H EALTH Anxiety, depression, eating disorders, panic disorder, certain personality disorderrs
2 P SYCHOLOGICAL H EALTH Explanations of differential diagnoses Feminist views Gender bias in interpretation of symptoms Social structure leads to personal distress and hardship Other bias – same symptoms labeled hysterical or depressed based on whether woman was single or married Alternatives Women are more susceptible Women are weaker Sampling bias – who seeks treatment; expression of symptoms could be socially constrained College students more likely recommend intervention for female than male with same symptoms P SYCHOLOGICAL H EALTH Medical models Women are biologically more vulnerable to certain disorders Hormone changes Counter – before WWII, more men than women in mental hospitals and ethnic and cultural variability in the difference Stereotypes

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