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Gynophobia (Fear of Women) : Symptoms, Causes, Diagnosis and Treatment

Last Updated: Dec 26, 2020

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What is Gynophobia?

An abnormal fear or hatred of women is known as gynophobia. The one who is suffering from this phobia have experienced real fear and it represents a danger to them. Their fear is irrational and their anxiety is excessive.

Some phobias involve a fear that is centeed on a specific object or situation, which in the case of gynophobia is women. The person's experience is far out of proportion to actual danger they face.

This phobia should not be confused with misogyny, hatred, and prejudice against women. Gynophobia is commonly defined as the fear men face by being humiliated by women. Gynophobia is also known as Feminophobia.

Psychological and Physical Symptoms of Gynophobia

The symptoms of gynophobia a may person may experience:

  • Fear of being around women
  • Panic Attacks and feeling of anxiety
  • Prickly sensation like pins and needles
  • Problems in Concentrating
  • Feeling of dizziness
  • Inability to relax
  • Fatigue
  • Excessive sweating

Generally, the gynophobia symptoms are automatic and uncontrollable and can easily take over a person’s thoughts.

  • An immediate, overwhelming fear or worry when you see or think about women.
  • An understanding that your fear of women is unwarranted or exaggerated but the fear is impossible to control
  • The anxiety that gets more intense as a woman gets physically closer to you
  • Physical manifestations of your fears such as tightness in your chest, sweating, a rapid heartbeat or difficulty breathing
  • Difficulty in doing activities because you are fearful of women.

In Children, gynophobia may appear as tantrums with clinging, crying or a refusal to leave a male parent’s side or approach a woman.

Root Cause of Gynophobia

The exact cause of gynophobia is not clearly understood, like other phobias. Gynophobia is extremely influenced by experience and environment factors. Any negative or traumatic experience involving a female often plays a major role in the outbreak of this phobia.

Any kind of mental, sexual, or physical abuse by women might lead to fear or anxiety about being around women.

Some possible causes of gynophobia:

  • Previous bad or negative experience with women, such as mental or physical abuse, neglect, rape, sexual harassment and physical assault.
  • Genetics and environment, including behaviour, learned from the people around you.
  • Changes in the way your brain works.

Some people are more prone to gynophobia than others. People most likely to develop gynophobia include:

  • Gynophobia can occur in early childhood, often by 10 years of age.
  • Family members who have a phobia or any anxiety disorder (this can be a case of inherited disorder)
  • A temperament that is more sensitive, inhibited or negative than other people
  • Any previous bad experience with female
  • Being told about some bad experience with women from a close family member or friend.

Complications In Fear of Women

It may not seem like a serious issue, but it can hamper the suffering person's routine activities and it becomes impossible to lead a normal life. Some complications of this phobia are:

  • Social isolation: A person with fear of women may not only avoid social gatherings where women might present but they may also avoid seeking medical treatment also for the same reason.
  • Depression: The isolation associated with this phobia can lead to feelings of depression.
  • Drug Addiction: People with gynophobia may start consumption of drugs or other harmful substances to control their anxiety.

Risk Factors for Gynophobia

There are a number of factors involved that a person will develop gynophobia. Some of these include:

  • Age: Children are more susceptible to the development of most phobias.
  • Genetics: Mostly people likely to develop if they have close relatives with anxiety disorders or other phobias.
  • Temperament: people who are more sensitive than others or have pessimistic outlook may increase the risk of phobia development.

How to Diagnosis Gynophobia?

The fear of women is not when a person is alone and the fear may reflect the personality, emotional or psychiatric issues. Some of the symptoms of phobia may meet the diagnostic criteria:

  1. Excessive fear
  2. Instant anxiety response to the cause of fear
  3. Evasion of the object or extreme distress
  4. Inability to perform other everyday activities

The cases of gynophobia should be addressed especially promptly in childrens. Sometimes children grow their fears bigger. But gynophobia can significantly harm a child's ability to function when they age, child fear should be addressed with a doctor immediately.

The doctor will ask you about your symptoms and will ask you about your medical and social histories. The doctor will also check you for any physical issues which might be triggering your anxiety. A doctor may refer you to a mental healthcare provider for specialized treatment.

How do you treat Gynophobia?

Majority of people with gynophobia receive their treatment in the form of therapy sessions. It is primarily treated with psychotherapy or talk therapy. Exposure therapy and behavioural theory are common forms of psychotherapy used to treat gynophobia.

  • Exposure therapy:

    It is one of the most effective treatments for phobias. Exposure therapy is gradual and starts with small steps. This therapy basically helps the person to cope up with the sensation, feelings and thoughts related to the fear of women.

    The incremental exposure assists you to bear up with the thoughts, feelings and sensations related to your fear of women. The treatment plan may include showing some photos of women.

    Your therapist may make you listen to some audio voice recordings of women. After that, the therapist will show some videos of women and finally, your therapist will slowly approach a real-life woman in a neutral space.

  • Cognitive-behavioral therapy:

    CBT or cognitive behavioural therapy amalgamate exposure therapy and other therapeutic therapy to change your ways to sight and deal with the fear of women. Below are aspects of CBT include:

    1. View your phobia in a different way
    2. Deal with the bodily sensations connected with your phobia
    3. Emotionally deal with the effect your phobia has had on your life

    After the CBT session, you may feel confident and it can help you change the way you think, feel and behave.

Medication For Gynophobia Problem

Usually, psychotherapy is a best option to treat gynophobia. Sometimes the use of medications is more helpful to decrease the feeling of anxiety or panic attacks associated with gynophobia. This kind of medication should only be used at the initial stage of treatment to speed up the recovery.

Some medications can be used on an infrequent or short-term basis. For example, where your fear of women prevents you from doing something important like getting any medical treatment from a female doctor or visiting the emergency room.

There are some medications for the short-term basis to treated gynophobia include:

  1. Beta-blockers: They control the effects of adrenaline on the body. Adrenaline normally surges when the body experiences anxiety and thus it results in uncomfortable and sometimes harmful physical problems like boost in heart rate and blood pressure and shaky voice and limbs.
  2. Antidepressants: Antidepressants are used to treat mood fluctuation and can help you to restrain from panic attacks and also helps to reduce the symptoms of anxiety issues.
  3. Sedatives: Sedatives like benzodiazepines can sometimes be used for a short time to reduce the acute anxiety associated with the phobia.

How to Overcome From Fear of Beautiful Women?

As such there’s no way to prevent the phobia but you can seek immediate help after your first sign of anxiety symptom. Do not escalate into a phobia. Seek your doctor for better treatment. Better the treatment better the chances of overcoming the phobia.

Prevention and Prognosis of Gynophobia

As such there is no specific treatment for effectiveness for gynophobia. Researchers say that exposure based treatments are effective in treating specific phobias like gynophobia.

There's no way to prevent phobias. However, seeking help immediately after a traumatic experience or at the first sign of anxiety symptoms can help ensure that lingering fears don't escalate into a phobia. The sooner you seek professional treatment, the better your chances of successfully overcoming the phobia.

Parents should also learn to manage their stress in a healthy way. As, this will teach your child how to cope with the anxiety-provoking situations.

Additional Information on Gynophobia

The fear of women can cause difficulties in the daily life of a person if left untreated and it may have a negative impact on your life. There are chances of complications like mood disorder, social isolation, suicidal thoughts or substance abuse.

The proper treatment and medications may help you reduce the level of anxiety but remember that recovering from this phobia takes time.

Popular Questions & Answers

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Hello sir I am suffering from gynophobia approx...


Dr. S.K. Tandon

General Physician

Gynophobia is treated primarily with psychotherapy, which is also called talk therapy. Exposure t...

Hello sir/madam. I am a shy type guy who afraid...


Dr. Prakhar Singh

General Physician

Gynophobia symptoms may include: an immediate, overwhelming fear or worry or terror when you see ...

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Written ByDrx Hina FirdousPhD (Pharmacology) Pursuing, M.Pharma (Pharmacology), B.Pharma - Certificate in Nutrition and Child CarePharmacology
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Reviewed ByDr. Bhupindera Jaswant SinghMD - Consultant PhysicianGeneral Physician
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