Androphobia: The Fear of Men

December 11, 2019
Androphobia is an intense and irrational fear of men. Would you like to know more? Keep reading!

There are all kinds of phobias. However, one of the most striking and surprising is androphobia, the fear of men. Those who suffer from androphobia experience feelings of intense panic when they see a man or a group of men appear.

However, before we start talking about androphobia, it would be a good idea to explain what a phobia is in general. This way, we can put things in context.

What’s a phobia?

Phobias are defined as an intense and irrational fear of people, animals, objects, or situations that involve little or no danger. The word comes from the Greek term phobos which means “panic”.

In Greek mythology, Phobos was also the son of Ares, the god of war, and Aphrodite, goddess of love. He personified fear. In fact, Alexander the Great prayed to Phobos before each battle to ward off fear.

A woman with a fear of men.

According to the DSM-5 (Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders), specific phobias, such as androphobia, have the following characteristics:

  • A fear or intense anxiety about a specific object or situation (e.g., flying, heights, animals, administration of an injection, seeing blood etc.)
  • The object or situation in question almost always causes immediate fear or anxiety.
  • People actively avoid or resist the source of the fear.
  • The fear or anxiety that the person experiences is disproportionate to the real danger posed by the specific object or situation and the sociocultural context.
  • The fear, anxiety, or avoidance is persistent and typically lasts six months or more.
  • The anxiety, fear, or avoidance cause significant discomfort or deterioration in the social, work, or other areas of our lives.

It’s common for people to have several specific phobias. In fact, approximately 75% of people with a specific phobia have a fear of more than one situation or object. People with a phobic life tend to suffer considerable anguish.

An irrational fear of men

We could well consider androphobia a type of sexual phobia. Sexuality is a subject that has always generated tension in our society. Sexual phobias can be directed towards a person’s gender, or also towards a specific aspect of sex.

The causes of sexual phobias can be many and varied. In the case at hand – that of androphobia – we have a disorder that produces a constant, intense, and abnormal fear of men.

People with androphobia feel very nervous when they are in the presence of men, and when they have a conversation with one of them. As a result, this irrational fear of men tends to mean that they try to avoid them. These situations can occur even with family or male friends and considerably hinder the personal, professional and interpersonal life of the affected person.

Who suffers from androphobia?

It’s mostly women who suffer from androphobia, although men can suffer from it too. The root of this type of phobia is often in some kind of traumatic event that the person suffered, where the perpetrator was male. There are also cases where people “learn” to fear men by observing traumatic situations.

These traumatic events could be rape, psychological abuse, a bad relationship with the father figure, etc. It could even occur for cultural reasons where the woman is brought up to be submissive and obedient.

The people are aware that not all men pose a real threat. However, they still can’t help feeling an irrational panic when they see them. The people most afflicted with androphobia are women between 18 and 40 years old.

Although they usually know that they’re suffering from an irrational fear, they don’t usually express their emotions. This is due to a fear of social rejection. These people usually excuse themselves and avoid situations in which they’ll have to deal with a man. They do this to avoid this fear that can produce so much anxiety.

Androphobia isn’t the same as misandry

We shouldn’t confuse androphobia with misandry. Those who suffer from androphobia want to be cured. Whereas those who have misandry feel hatred towards men for various reasons.

Misandry usually comes as a reaction to misogyny (the hatred of women) and also a sense of the struggle against the male chauvinism that prevails in society. We can differentiate androphobia from misandry by the irrational and disproportionate fear that destabilizes the person’s daily life.

The treatment of androphobia is the same as that of any other type of specific phobia. To treat this disorder, a series of cognitive-behavioral psychological techniques are used in which the person is taught to face their fears. If you suffer from this disorder we recommend that you visit a specialist psychologist, and we’re sure that they’ll be able to help you.