Most of you don’t know what Gynophobia actually means. So let me help you understand.
Gynophobia is the fear of women. According to historians, this term rose to prominence with men being afraid of women, either due to the fear of being emasculated or humiliated.
In other terms, a man feels weak and not “manly enough” when humiliated by a woman.
But don’t think it happens only in men; women too suffer from gynophobia. Misogyny is yet another phrase resulting due to fear of women in men.
Though gynophobia may look like an odd personality characteristic at first, when the stress and anxiety level builds up in you and hampers your day-to-day activities, it becomes a matter of concern. That is when you should consult with your doctor and know how you can deal with it.
What Are Its Symptoms?
The symptoms of Gynophobia include:
- Immediate fear and terror just from sight or thought of women
- Knowing that the fear is irrational, you cannot control it
- The anxiety builds up when women get closer to you
- Knowingly staying away from women
- The fear hampering your daily activities
- Physical problems such as sweatiness, intense heartbeat, difficulty breathing due to fear
- When you see or even think of women, upset stomach, dizzy feeling, and faintness.
What Causes Gynophobia?
It is hard to exactly pinpoint the cause of gynophobia. It is an irrational fear, so it can happen to women who are not harmful or even dangerous. But just like other specific phobias, gynophobia impairs the ability to work on a daily basis and is considered chronic.
Though there are no specific explanations about the cause of such phobia, some plausible causes include:
- Bad experiences with women in the past, such as physical or even mental violence, abandonment, rape, and sexual assault.
- It can be purely genetic, or something learned from the parents or neighbourhood.
- It can be entirely cognitive; it’s how your brain is wired.
Who Does It Affect?
There are some people who are more prone to this kind of phobia than others. And they are:
- Early teens- like any other phobia, gynophobia also starts in the early teen years.
- Genetic inheritance- There is a possibility that you inherited gynophobia from a family member, like in the case you most phobias.
- Someone who has dealt with a negative experience with a woman.
- A placebo effect- Phobia originates from you reading about it or hearing about it from a friend, family member, or even a total stranger.
How Do I Deal With It?
Though gynophobia is not regarded as a mental illness, the treatment it receives is through therapy sessions or different psychotherapies.
The two most common therapies that are used are Behavior therapy and Exposure therapy.
1. Cognitive Behavioral Therapy
This therapy combines the effects of exposure therapy and other therapies to help you learn different ways through which you can view and cope with your phobia. They include:
- Help you see your phobia in a different manner
- Help you cope with the physical effects of fear
- Help deal with how the phobia affected your life emotionally.
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy should make you a bit more confident in yourself and also help you control your emotions as well.
2. Exposure Therapy
In exposure therapy, the person deals with how they approach and respond to a woman and accordingly change their behavior. Here the therapist slowly and gradually exposes you to situations associated with a woman, and towards the end, you are exposed to a real woman.
Through exposure, you gradually deal with your fear, thoughts, and feelings that are associated with women. First, the exposure begins with a picture of a woman, then it moves towards the voice, and video, and then towards the end, exposure to a real-life woman.
Exposure therapy is a slow but continuous process, which, if conducted without proper planning and sequence, can have adverse effects on the individual.
From the outside, gynophobia looks like a weird personality trait, but from the inside, it has a negative impact that can affect your daily life to another degree.
So, it would be better for you that when you detect some of the symptoms of gynophobia, consult your doctor as soon as possible. And get the help you need to live a better life.
Emily Bryant is a professional content writer. She completed her graduation in Psychology from the University of Montreal, Canada. She is very passionate about writing in many journals and magazines. She is the owner and co-founder of Real Wealth Business. She is also associated with many authority blog sites such as Search Engine Magazine, Social Media Magazine, Blogstellar, Essay Writing Guides, The Legal Guides, The Parents Magazine, and The Sports Mag.