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How Common Is a Fear of Men?

By Patti Kate
Updated: Mar 03, 2024

Anxiety disorders occur in individuals of all ages and a fear of men is considered to be one of the most common types of phobias. This phobia is known as androphobia, it can afflict males and females of all ages, from early childhood to adulthood. Although the fear of men can occur in both males and females, it is more commonly present in young females. Causes may vary, but a fear of males most commonly exists in individuals who have suffered some type of traumatic experience. There are other causes of androphobia as well, and this condition should be diagnosed and treated by a professional.

Signs of androphobia most commonly manifest in early childhood. In many cases, young girls exhibit a fear of males for no apparent reason. The child may seem reluctant to be alone with a man, even a close friend or relative. The child may also develop nightmares involving men, or show a mistrust towards men in general. The fear of men may be due to mistreatment or abuse by a man, although this is not always the case.

Severe cases of andropobia are most commonly present in children and teenagers, and some of the symptoms include extreme anxiety when around men, or a feeling of terror. Young children may scream or cry when encountering a man, while others have difficulty sleeping. In adults, an extreme fear of males may cause the individual to become withdrawn and isolated. Single adult women with androphobia may not wish to associate with men and choose not to date.

Common symptoms include heart palpitations or sweating. Some individuals who exhibit this fear may also have difficulty communicating with men, and may stammer or stutter in their presence. In extreme cases, visible signs of androphobia may include quivering. A fear of males is commonly seen in girls or women who have been physically abused or raped. Although the majority of individuals who suffer from this fear are female, boys and men who have been violently abused by men may also show signs of androphobia.

If left untreated, individuals with androphobia may become severely depressed or even suicidal. After a diagnosis has been determined, psychologists and specially trained phobia counselors can suggest an effective treatment plan for the individual. Treatment for an abnormal fear of men may include behavioral therapy and medication.

The Health Board is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Discussion Comments
By Fa5t3r — On Mar 07, 2014

@Ana1234 - Honestly, I think that most women have at least a small, healthy amount of fear of men. If I met a girl in a class and we got on really well, I wouldn't think twice about going home with her to watch a movie or something.

If that person was a man, I would be a lot more cautious. It's possible that the girl could be a serial killer, of course, but much less likely and also I would have much more of a chance to physically defend myself. If it was a guy, he is likely to be much stronger than I am.

It doesn't mean I don't have male friends and that I don't trust them. But I'm less likely to trust random men than random women. And I don't think that makes me a misandrist. I think that's just common sense.

By Ana1234 — On Mar 06, 2014

@clintflint - That might be true statistically, but I think that statistics can be misleading when it comes to how likely an individual is to suffer from something. It just isn't right for people to justify being afraid of a whole group based on the actions of a few members.

I mean, I can understand if someone becomes afraid after an attack, but it's an irrational fear. It's the same as dogs or horses who are afraid of one gender of people or another. It's instinctual, but that doesn't mean it's right.

By clintflint — On Mar 06, 2014

This makes me think of something a comedian said once about men and women. I'm going to paraphrase because I don't know the exact quote, but it was something like: when a man goes out with a woman, the only thing he really has to risk is rejection. When a woman goes out with a man, she is risking her life.

Now I know I might be accused of misandry here, but it is true that women are murdered by men far more often than the other way around. In some ways I actually think that it is completely rational for women to be afraid of men all the time, and it's the ones who aren't who are being foolish.

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