Women, Science, and Myth: Gender Beliefs from Antiquity to the Present

By Sue V. Rosser | Go to book overview

Mental Illness

SUSAN A. NOLAN

Gender differences in the prevalence and experience of mental illness have long been observed by both clinicians and researchers. A number of studies, mostly in Western countries (and primarily in the United States), have documented patterns in psychopathology related to gender. It appears that men and women have very similar overall rates of psychopathology (e.g., Kessler et al. 1994); however, there are differences in prevalence rates and in symptomatic expression of a number of disorders. In particular, there is a fairly consistent gender disparity in the spectrum of mood, anxiety, somatoform, and eating disorders (e.g., Kessler et al. 1994). For most disorders in these categories, rates are higher among women than among men. One of the categories for which the gender difference is reversed is substance abuse; men are more likely than are women to abuse alcohol and other drugs, a pattern that might be changing as women become more likely to use substances than in the past. Among the most severe of mental disorders, such as bipolar disorder and schizophrenia, there does not seem to be a significant gender difference.


Disorders that Afflict More Women than Men

Anxiety Disorders

Women are more likely than are men to experience anxiety disorders. More specifically, women are anywhere from 1.8 to 2.5 times as likely to suffer from specific phobias, panic disorder, generalized anxiety disorder, and posttraumatic stress disorder (e.g., Kessler et al. 1994). (Some have noted a smaller gender difference in the same direction for social phobia and obsessivecompulsive disorder, although others have not observed a gender difference in their prevalence rates.) With some of the more debilitating anxiety disorders, the preponderance of women is even more pronounced; 80 to 90 percent of people suffering from severe agoraphobia are women.

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Women, Science, and Myth: Gender Beliefs from Antiquity to the Present
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents v
  • Introduction vii
  • Chronological Section- Changes in Myths of Gender over Time 1
  • Antiquity 3
  • Medieval Era 17
  • Renaissance 31
  • The 18th Century 43
  • The 19th Century 61
  • Early 20th Century 79
  • Thematic Section- Concepts of Gender in Different Contexts 93
  • Disciplines - Chemistry 95
  • Physics/Astronomy 103
  • Mathematics 109
  • Computer Science 115
  • Biology 123
  • Psychology 129
  • Medicine 135
  • Technology 141
  • Aspects of Human Biology and Behavior - The Brain 149
  • Cognitive Abilities 155
  • Mental Illness 161
  • Personality/Rationality/Emotionality 167
  • Endocrinology and Hormones 173
  • Menstruation/Menopause/PMS 177
  • Early Modern Health 181
  • Gender/Sex—How Conjoined 187
  • Homosexuality 193
  • Race 201
  • Nature/Nurture 207
  • Institutions - Women’s Education 213
  • Motherhood 223
  • Religion 229
  • Universities 235
  • Federal Agencies 249
  • Industry 259
  • Professional Societies 263
  • Discrimination 273
  • Women Scientists as Leaders 283
  • Nobel Laureates 295
  • Gender and Occupational Interests 319
  • Other Perspectives on Gender and Myths and Beliefs in Scientific Research - Feminist Philosophy of Science 325
  • Biologists Who Study Gender/Feminism 337
  • Historians of Science and Technology Who Focus on Feminism 347
  • Primatologists Who Focus on Females/Gender 357
  • Critiques of Science 365
  • Marxism/Socialism and Feminism/Gender 373
  • Ecofeminism 381
  • Cyberfeminism 387
  • Race, Postcolonial Gender, and Science 393
  • Feminist Science Studies 399
  • Women’s Health Movement 405
  • Science Fiction 419
  • Conclusion 427
  • Appendix of- Statistical Tables 437
  • Glossary 445
  • Bibliography 469
  • Index 481
  • About the Editor 501
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