April 17, 1996

Gender and Psychopathology

Author Affiliations

University of Illinois at Chicago


edited by Mary V. Seeman, 402 pp, $52, ISBN 0-88048-564-7, Washington, DC, American Psychiatric Press, 1995.

JAMA. 1996;275(15):1206-1207. doi:10.1001/jama.1996.03530390074041

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This book was originally intended to examine systematically and critically gender effects on the epidemiology, expression of symptoms, age at onset, sequelae, differential diagnosis, and treatment response of the major psychiatric diagnostic entities. "The original project," in the words of the editor, "proved to be unrealistic." Although less ambitious, the present volume is a worthy contribution to a complex and important subject.

The initial chapter, "Gender, Development, and Psychopathology," by psychiatrists Malkah Notman and Carol Nadelson, establishes the definitions and sets the tone. The authors define gender identity as the "internalized sense of maleness or femaleness and the knowledge of one's biological sex, including the associated psychological attributes." Gender role, the "expectations, attitudes, and behaviors that are considered appropriate for each gender" in a particular culture, is noted as only one of the many diverse and complex factors that contribute to one's sense of gender identity. Although the etiology of