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Basic Books
Sex Roles and Psychopathology

Sex Roles and Psychopathology

by Cathy S. Widom


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Sex Roles and Psychopathology

Psychopathology is the science of deviant behavior. However, as psy­ chopathologists, our explanations of deviant behavior are not developed in a sterile, laboratory environment. Abnormality is a relative concept, and the labeling of someone or some behavior as abnormal is inextrica­ bly linked to a particular social context. In the United States, for exam­ ple, a woman reporting vivid hallucinations is likely to be committed to a mental hospital and the behavior considered maladaptive. In other cultures, the same behavior may be interpreted as reflecting magical, healing powers, and the woman honored and revered. An explicit assumption underlying this book is that elements of social causality influence the development and maintenance of psycho­ pathology. While the chapters emphasize environmental influences, this is not intended to negate the importance of physiological, biological, genetic, or hormonal factors in relation to psychopathology. The purpose of this book is to examine the impact of sex role ster­ eotypes on the occurrence and distribution of specific forms of psycho­ pathology. In contrast to prior work, which emphasizes sex differences (e.g., Franks and Gomberg's Gender and Disordered Behavior) these are not the primary focus of this volume. Sex Roles and Psychopathology analyzes the extent to which cultural norms about the sexes, societal expectations and values about sex-typed behavior and sex differences, and profes­ sional biases influence the development, manifestation, and mainte­ nance of abnormal behavior among men and women.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780306414060
Publisher: Basic Books
Publication date: 02/01/1984
Pages: 390

Table of Contents

I Introduction.- 1 Sex Roles and Psychopathology.- Psychopathology in a Social Context.- Sex, Roles, and Psychopathology.- Overview of the Chapters.- References.- 2 A Historical Perspective.- Nineteenth-Century Psychological Thought.- Specific Syndromes.- Nineteenth-Century Psychiatric Practice in Lunatic Asylums.- Conclusion.- References.- II Neurotic, Affective, and Schizophrenic Disorders.- 3 Gender Ideology and Phobias in Women.- Phobias.- Sex Roles and the Ideology of Gender Differentiation.- Gender Ideology and Phobias.- Current Limitations of the Gender Ideology Model of Phobias.- Summary and Conclusions.- References.- 4 Hysteria.- Diagnosis.- Incidence of Sex Bias in Diagnosis of Hysteria.- Explanations of Sex Bias in Diagnosis of Hysteria.- Conclusion.- References.- 5 Sex Roles and Psychophysiological Disorders: Coronary Heart Disease.- Reasons for Studying Coronary Heart Disease in Women.- Pathways of Risk.- Unitary Risk Factors.- Complex Risk Factors.- Conclusions.- References.- 6 Depression in Relation to Sex Roles: Differences in Learned Susceptibility and Precipitating Factors.- Definitions and Symptoms of Depression.- Theories of Depression.- Some Data on Sex Differences in Depression.- Discussion.- References.- 7 Suicide.- Trends.- Marital Status and Suicidal Behavior.- Characteristics of Suicidal Individuals.- Explanations for Sex Differences in Suicidal Behavior.- Female Suppression and Sex Differences in Suicide.- Final Comments.- References.- 8 Schizophrenia.- Clinical and Behavioral Symptoms.- Empirical Assessments of Gender Identity and Gender Roles in Schizophrenia.- Premorbidity and Age at Onset.- Explanations of Gender Identity and Gender Role Difficulties in Schizophrenia.- The Diathesis-Gender-Stress Model of Schizophrenia.- Conclusion.- References.- III Social Deviation and Sexual Dysfunction.- 9 Sex Roles, Criminality, and Psychopathology.- Sex Roles and Criminality.- Psychiatric Disorders and Criminality.- Conclusion.- References.- 10 A Sex-Roles Perspective on Drug and Alcohol Use by Women.- Drugs and Drug Abuse.- Sex Differences in Drug Use.- Trends and Changes in Sex Differences in Drug and Alcohol Use.- Sex Roles.- Sex Role Norms and Drug Use.- Sex Role Performance and Drug Use.- Sex Role Identity and Substance Abuse.- Implications.- References.- 11 Sex Roles and Sexual Dysfunction.- Sexuality and Sex Role Socialization.- Sex Role Expectations.- The Effects of Sex Roles in Relationships.- Marriage, Sex Roles, and Sexual Dysfunction.- Directions toward Change.- References.- IV Age-Related Disorders.- 12 Sex-Related Differences in the Epidemiology of Child Psychopathology.- Methodological Problems.- Intellectual Disorders.- Adjustment Disorder of Childhood.- Behavior Disorders.- Emotional Disorders.- Pervasive Developmental Disorders.- Summary and Conclusions.- References.- 13 Sex-Role Stereotypes and the Development of Eating Disorders.- Epidemiology of Eating Disorders.- “Direct” Influences of Sex Roles on Eating Habits.- Other Mental Health Ramifications.- “Indirect” Influences of Sex Roles on Eating Disorders.- Overview.- Implications for Clinical Intervention.- Research Priorities.- References.- 14 Senescence, Sex Roles, and Stress: Shepherding Resources into Old Age.- Depression or Death? An Overview of Gender and Aging.- Salutogenesis and Senescence: Growing Old and Liking It.- Conclusion.- References.- V Societal Management and Control.- 15 Sex Roles, Psychological Assessment, and Patient Management.- Psychological Assessment.- Patient Management.- Conclusions and Recommendations.- References.- 16 Sex Roles in Medicine.- Sex Differences in Health.- Sex Differences in Medical Behavior.- Sex Differences in Medical Treatment of Men and Women.- References.

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