Gender inequality

 
Published: Saturday 31 October 1992

-- Women are prescribed twice more psychotropic drugs than men, a discovery that has led to much debate in Britain. Is it because women tend to consult psychiatrists whereas men pour their hearts out to their favourite bartenders? Are women more forthcoming than men to doctors? Data suggests men are less susceptible to anxiety and depressive disorders, but some say women are exploited and therefore suffer greater stress, misdiagnosed by doctors (often male) to produce nervous debility.

A recent study (The Lancet, Vol 340 No 8818) showed female patients are more likely to be prescribed psychotropic drugs by a female doctor than a male. This finding has led to more questions: Do female doctors take on male characteristics and respond unsympathetically to women who continue to be subjugated? Or, presuming that women have more anxious disorders, are they more empathetic than men doctors, identifying disorders more frequently? Further studies on the subject only threaten to throw up more questions than answers.

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