Social Anxiety Disorder and Gender

Social anxiety disorder (SAD) is characterized by excessive fear of negative evaluation and embarrassment in social or performance situations. SAD affects males and females differently due to a complex interplay of biological influences, social norms, and cultural factors. This entry explores the reasons for disparities in rates of SAD among males and females, how gender and sex relate to the presentation and impact of social anxiety, and how gender might be considered in the context of treatment of this debilitating disorder. In addition, the importance of understanding gender in terms of an individual’s identification with masculine and feminine characteristics, rather than just biological sex, is explored in the context of social anxiety.


Epidemiological studies consistently show anxiety disorders on the whole to be more common ...

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