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What is Androphobia?

By Felicia Dye
Updated Mar 03, 2024
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Androphobia is an anxiety condition that is characterized by a fear of men. This condition is not limited to women. Men can also suffer from this irrational fear. People who suffer from androphobia commonly engage in elaborate and extreme measures to avoid men. This condition can have a negative impact on various aspects of life, such as employment and romantic involvement.

A person with this condition is likely to be overcome with fear or to experience terror when she is put into a situation that involves a male’s presence. This can be true even when she knows there is no threat to her safety. There are numerous symptoms that can indicate the existence of this condition. These include rapid heartbeat, trembling, and shortness of breath. A sufferer’s mouth can become dry and she could also have an impulse to vomit.

It is believed that many people who suffer from androphobia do so because of a traumatic incident. The person who suffers from this condition may not have been a direct victim in the event that caused her to develop the problem. For example, one woman may have witnessed another being physically or sexually abused, and thereafter developed this fear. This condition is not always the result of a single event. Sometimes it develops over a span of time.

This fear can have a severe impact on a person’s life. Her relationships, for example, are likely to be affected. This can include professional relationships or those of a personal nature. Some people with androphobia marry, but many remain single.

Many people suffer with androphobia without getting help. One reason for this is because it is believed many people are unaware that the fear of men is a recognized condition. Many people are also reportedly unaware that this condition affects many other people.

Androphobia treatment does exist. There is not an average length of treatment because the amount of help a person needs generally depends on the severity of the condition and the severity of the trauma that caused it. Another factor that will affect treatment is the method used.

Treatment options include the services of psychological professionals. In some instances, medication is used as part of treatment programs. There are also books, audio books, and materials that can be downloaded from the Internet to help a person manage or overcome this fear. It is important to note that all treatment options may not be suitable or effective for everyone.

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Discussion Comments
By anon285883 — On Aug 18, 2012

Can you imagine if the girl with Androphobia was really pretty and attractive? She would see boys always trying to talk to her and she would slap them if they so much as tried to give her a high five.

By anon285882 — On Aug 18, 2012

I had this phobia right after my cousin molested me and threaten me that, if I told, then he would rape me. I'm glad I found this site and I will try to find a cure for it. The fear of men is not like any other fear. It feels like I'm so scared I can't even move at all. And it feels like I'm going to die from a heart attack.

By Agni3 — On Aug 13, 2011

I wonder what it is that makes people react to traumatic events in such different ways. Is it just biology, or is it more of a pure and simple personality thing?

For instance, many women and men who are placed in a traumatic situation where they are abused by a man and unable to escape become androphobic. This obviously has a horrible effect on a person’s life all the way around. I mean, roughly half of the human population is men.

Others, however, tend to seek out this type of negative man obsessively, even knowing what will come to them. It’s almost as if they mask the pain of past events with the pain of new catastrophes.

Then, there are those people who just push past it and move on with life. I hope that’s the way I’d go in this situation, but who knows?

It’s such a puzzle figuring out the whys of it all. Heck, figuring out if there are any whys at all would be some advancement on the subject.

By wavy58 — On Aug 12, 2011

My best friend developed androphobia after marriage because of a traumatic event. She was visiting her sister when a man broke into the house, tied both of them up, and beat them senseless.

After that happened, something changed in her mind, and she viewed every man as aggressive, no matter how nice they might seem on the surface. She even flinched when her husband touched her.

She knew that this could destroy her marriage, so she sought psychiatric counseling. After just a few sessions, her psychologist recommended that she confront her fears by making small talk with the mailman, the grocery boy, and other male acquaintances.

This actually helped her a great deal. Her husband could see that she was improving, and he endured her involuntary flinches and wrapped her up in a hug often. Soon, the flinches went away totally.

By OeKc05 — On Aug 11, 2011

Now that I think back on the situation, I believe that my college roommate had androphobia. I didn’t know it was a condition at the time, but this article describes her perfectly.

When she passed a boy in a hallway, she would look down and walk quickly. My brother visited us once in our room, and her throat got so dry, she couldn’t speak, even to say, “Hello.” She excused herself and did not return until he was gone.

She never dated, and she had trouble speaking up in her classes with male professors. I simply thought she was extremely shy, but now I see that she had an actual mental condition.

By StarJo — On Aug 11, 2011

My cousin got kidnaped along with another victim when she was ten years old. Though her abductor did not physically harm her, she had to watch while he tortured and murdered the other girl.

She was returned to her parents, who left the ransom as instructed. The police caught the man, and he will be serving life in prison. My cousin developed androphobia because of her experience.

Even though she does not have to fear running into the man who took her, she is afraid that every man she sees on the street could be a potential kidnaper or murderer. She can only work for female employers, and I’m sure she will never date a man.

By sunshine31 — On Aug 10, 2011

@Sara007 - I know that there are a lot of treatment options like hypnotherapy that can really help people afflicted with androphobia.

I read that with many phobias the patient is eventually confronted with the object of their anxiety through exposure therapy. After being exposed to the object slowly over a period of a few months, the patient’s anxiety levels decrease because their mind disassociates the panic with the object that they initially feared.

I wonder if this type of therapy would work for people with androphobia. I have seen this therapeutic method work for other phobias and I wondered if it would work with this one.

By Sara007 — On Aug 10, 2011

@manykitties2 - I have always thought of androphobia is another kind of social phobia, similar to people who get severe anxiety attacks before public speaking. There is simply a situation, in this case being near men, that causes a person to react in a fearful manner.

True androphobiacs can't actively interact with men of their own free will because they have developed a mental block that only allows them to see a situation as a threat.

I believe that when someone has true androphobia the only thing that can help them is intense counseling and support groups. I agree with you though, it is a terrible way to live. I hope that anyone who suspects their friend or loved one has androphobia helps to get them into counseling.

By manykitties2 — On Aug 09, 2011

It's amazing to me that a person could suffer from androphobia. I can't imagine being afraid of everyone of the opposite sex. While I understand some people suffer from severe trauma in their lives, surely they don't look at all men in the same way?

I suppose that sometimes the human mind can be an irrational thing. With emotions and automatic flight or fight responses being triggered I can only imagine how hard it would be to live with a fear of men.

Can you imagine not being able to date, go to work, or even interact with males in a casual setting, like ordering food at a restaurant? Having androphobia must be a terrible way to live.

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