Gynophobia is the fear or hatred (or both) of women. Usually men suffer from this phobia, which is also known by names like Gynephobia or Feminophobia. Such individuals fear women or having a sexual intercourse with them. They might have hatred or ill will towards their own sisters or mothers or, in general, all women around them. Some gynophobics tend to put off marriage on account of such a fear.
A related phobia is Venustaphobia or caligynephobia which is the fear of beautiful women.
Causes of Gynophobia
Psychiatrists believe that the fear of women phobia usually occurs in men having unresolved conflicts with their mothers. Abandonment or physical abuse inflicted by strict mothers in one’s childhood can cause Gynophobia. Childhood Gynophobia often resolves on its own but might persist well into adulthood. Such men tend to view women as physical or emotional threat.
Often, a child on the verge of puberty might have been sexually abused by a violent woman, leading to a cycle of hatred towards all women for life.
Some cases of fear of women phobia can arise later in life when an adult man might have been put down or insulted severely by a woman. This can lead to overwhelming thoughts of humiliation and rejection leading him to mistrust all women.
Stories about Amazonian women, witches and witch hunt etc can also trigger Gynophobia.
Symptoms of fear of women phobia
Different cases of Gynophobia have different symptoms.
- Homosexuality might have been triggered by Gynophobia. However, it is important to note the difference between the two conditions: gay men do not necessarily fear women and conversely, many heterosexual gynophobic men can also have relationships with women until they are confronted with thoughts of having a sexual encounter.
- Some Gynophobics are all-out women haters who are unable to have a decent relationship with women.
- Many individuals show ill will or disdain towards all women around them. They deeply believe that all females are “filthy, stupid, liars and cheaters”.
- Often the fear of women may be targeted towards one’s own mother or sisters. Many phobics are unable to work with female colleagues or bosses. They tend to lash out at them or might question their authority.
- Many tend to feel panic or anxiety attacks etc at the thought of confronting a woman. This includes symptoms like shortness of breath, rapid heart rate, sweating, dry mouth, inability to form words/sentences etc. Many tend to avoid social encounters with females and go out of their way to avoid them.
- Sometimes, psychological disorders like schizophrenia, bipolar depression etc can also lead to Gynophobia.
- In some cases, a man might start fearing sexual intercourse with women owing to the inability to get an erection or maintain one.
It is important to find the root cause of anxiety leading to the fear of women in order to bring these feelings under control. This is the key to overcoming Gynophobia.
- Many phobics have found relief through cognitive behavior therapy, talk therapy and psychotherapy of different types.
- Hypnotherapy is another promising technique that delves deep into the phobic’s mind to find out the root cause of Gynophobia.
- Counseling, gradual exposure therapy and Neuro linguistic programming or NLP can also help one get rid of Gynophobia for good.