Gender Differences and Depression

367 Words2 Pages
Reasons for the gender differences in the prevalence of depression and other disorders I favor the socio- cultural level of analysis when explaining gender differences in the prevalence of depression and other disorders primarily because I see societies’ way of perceiving one’s gender as a cultural matter in the first place. Gender, as oppose to Sex, is closely related to, but isn’t defined by biological or physiological factors but by socially constructed roles and behaviors. Therefore it seems logical to me that psychological disorders, as well as the differing symptoms they carry between men and women will have more to do with one’s culture and society and its way of attributing roles according to gender. When going over possible cognitive explanations of prevalence of depression among women (such as their tendency to ruminate more than men do), it seems that the roots of these explanations still originate in gender roles and expectations. Differences in cognition between men and women are highly influenced by their roles in the society and culture they belong to. For example, in a society where women are defined by their male partner and depend on him economically, it is likely that they will depend on them mentally as well and will be more prone to develop depression when losing them than the other way around. Although there are biological explanations to the reason why females tend to be more prone to depression (hormonal changes in puberty, menopause or the premenstrual period, for example), I do not believe depression could be evoked solely by hormonal changes (because otherwise depression would be even more common among females) without the participation of environmental factors in addition. Another reason why I believe socio- cultural explanations are more relevant when explaining gender differences in prevalence of depression is because these
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