Gendered mental disorders: masculine and feminine stereotypes about mental disorders and their relation to stigma

J Soc Psychol. 2014 Nov-Dec;154(6):546-65. doi: 10.1080/00224545.2014.953028.


Research indicates that stereotypes can intersect. For example, the intersection of stereotypes about gender and mental disorders could result in perceptions of gendered mental disorders. In the current research, Studies 1 and 2 showed that people view specific disorders as being masculine or feminine. The masculine stereotype included antisocial personality disorder, addictions, and paraphilias. The feminine stereotype included eating disorders, histrionic personality disorder, body dysmorphia, and orgasmic disorder. In both studies, the perception of disorders as masculine was positively correlated with stigma. Study 3 showed that the positive correlation between masculinity and stigma also occurred when examining specific symptoms rather than full mental disorders. The findings provide further evidence for the intersection of stereotypes and indicate a novel factor in the understanding of stigma.

Keywords: feminine; gender; masculine; mental disorder; stereotypes.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Character
  • Data Collection
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Mental Disorders / diagnosis
  • Mental Disorders / psychology*
  • Middle Aged
  • Sexism*
  • Social Stigma
  • Statistics as Topic
  • Stereotyping*
  • Temperament