What is gynophobia?
Gynophobia is an irrational and abnormal fear of women. In past, this phobia was described with the Latin term “horror feminae”, meaning literally fear of women. Another term, caligynephobia, is used to describe the fear of beautiful women.
Gynophobia is no to be confused with misogyny, which is hatred towards women.
Symptoms of gynophobia
A person who has gynophobia is affected by in on day-to-day basis, since in modern world men and women are not separated by social strata and their interaction is perhaps today the highest ever.
Gynophobia prevents a man from living a normal life and interacting in a normal, healthy and socially acceptable way with women. Such person does not feel comfortable around women, they feel intimidated, scared or even terrified by women. Their notion and idea about women is generally the reverse of the norm.
Other symptoms that emerge from this phobia are shyness, self-consciousness, low self esteem, feeling of being inferior to women, anger and rage. Physically when around women these men may experience shortness of breath, trembling, and other physical manifestations of fear.
Causes of gynophobia
Gynophobia usually occurs in persons who do not interact, or hardly, with women in their everyday life. Usually, the cause of gynophobia is a traumatic event that occurred during the most sensitive years, like boyhood or early adolescence, associated to a female. Consequences of those events are likely to re-emerge during adolescence.
That traumatic event can be physical, emotional or sexual abuse by a female. The usual perpetrator is a mother, sister, teacher, family member, babysitter, family friend, but there are cases in which young teenagers get involved with abusive young women, which can be the source of trauma as well.
Gynophobia may result from a situation in which a boy’s first emotional or sexual relationship with a woman is negative, filled with domination, abuse, mistreatment.
Associated trauma can also be the cause of this phobia. In this case the trauma is not something a person experiences directly, but associates with someone else in real life, movies, literature or even dreams.
Slow build can lead to mild gynophobia. It means accumulating over time negative, fearful experiences with women. Treatment
There are medications prescribed for gynophobia. However, those medications do not provide absolute recovery, they are not 100 percent efficient, they may have side effects and considerable withdrawal problems.
Another way of treatment is counseling or psychotherapy. Many therapists specialize in this sort of problems. Therapy is hard work, it requires a lot of time but it does give significant results. Some men even manage to make a full recovery, while others learn mechanisms of coping with their fear on a day-to-day basis. This is a problem that must be addressed because it can be treated and because no one should live in fear.