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The Stressed Sex: Men, Women, and Mental Health

Overview

Every day millions of people struggle with psychological and emotional problems. The Stressed Sex sets out to answer a simple, but crucial, question: are rates of psychological disorder different for men and women? To date, this important issue has been largely ignored in debates focused on gender differences.

Daniel Freeman and Jason Freeman present a groundbreaking combination of epidemiological analysis and evidence-based science to get to the bottom of what's really going ...

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The Stressed Sex: Uncovering the Truth About Men, Women, and Mental Health

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Overview

Every day millions of people struggle with psychological and emotional problems. The Stressed Sex sets out to answer a simple, but crucial, question: are rates of psychological disorder different for men and women? To date, this important issue has been largely ignored in debates focused on gender differences.

Daniel Freeman and Jason Freeman present a groundbreaking combination of epidemiological analysis and evidence-based science to get to the bottom of what's really going on. They provide an in-depth look at what the best and most comprehensive epidemiological surveys tell us about rates of specific psychological problems, and mental ill-health in general, across a range of countries. Weighing the evidence from epidemiology, genetics, neuroscience, psychiatry, and cognitive, social, and clinical psychology, they conclude—in a finding that is sure to provoke lively debate—that in any given year, women are more vulnerable to suffer mental problems.

The Freemans then explore the social, psychological, and biological factors that could account for this difference between the sexes. And they tackle other far-reaching questions as well. What is mental illness? How prevalent is it in society? How are such conditions best defined and diagnosed? What causes psychological disorders? How do we balance the various contributing factors?

This is a highly charged issue. To say that women are less mentally healthy than men can threaten women's struggle for equality in society. But if women are more vulnerable to psychological problems, it is a major public health finding—one that should inform treatment, guide research, and perhaps spark social change. The Freemans show us that it is an issue we cannot ignore.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Oxford University clinical psychologist Daniel Freeman and self-help author Jason Freeman (the two coauthored Anxiety) discuss the differing rates of mental illness and mental disorders between the sexes to explore how gender affects mental health. Citing a range of epidemiological studies conducted globally over the last 20 years, the authors show how genetics and environment “work in tandem” to create mental disorders. Women, who are much more likely than men to struggle with depression and anxiety, face unique environmental challenges: they are more likely to suffer triggering events like sexual abuse and domestic violence, and many wage lifelong battles against the strictures of traditional gender roles. Men, on the other hand, are more prone to substance-abuse problems, a trend the authors also chalk up to a combination of genetic and situational factors. The Freemans also discuss some “less common problems,” including eating disorders (which skew mostly female) and autism (an “overwhelmingly male condition”). The authors acknowledge that there are many flaws in the available research, and they recommend long-term studies that would follow participants over the course of their lives in order to “link... social influences to an individual’s life history, genetic make-up, biology, and psychological processes.” Freeman’s book is well-reasoned, thoroughly researched, and worthy of attention. (Aug.)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780199651351
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press
  • Publication date: 5/19/2013
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 256
  • Sales rank: 1,409,424
  • Product dimensions: 5.70 (w) x 8.50 (h) x 1.20 (d)

Meet the Author

Daniel Freeman is Professor of Clinical Psychology and Medical Research Council (MRC) Senior Clinical Fellow in the Department of Psychiatry, Oxford University. One of the United Kingdom's leading clinical psychologists, he is a Fellow of University College, Oxford and a Fellow of the British Psychological Society.

Jason Freeman is a writer and editor specializing in popular psychology and self-help. The Freemans co-authored Know Your Mind: Everyday Emotional and Psychological Problems and How to Overcome Them.

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Table of Contents

Preface
1. Introduction: The Stressed Sex?
2. Number Crunching: the pattern and prevalence of psychiatric problems
3. Digging deeper into the data
4. Emotional disorders
5. Alcohol and drug problems
6. Less common problems: eating disorders, anti-social personality disorder, and autism
7. Conclusion: putting the pieces together
References

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