The fear of males is known by the Latin term, Androphobia. Fearing men can be a female response to male agression, but it can also have other causes.
Is It A Man’s World?
For centuries, men have held sway in the corridors of power, relegating women to second place. Times have changed, but most people acknowledge that males are indeed the warlike gender. While it’s easy to fall into outmoded gender stereotypes, it has to be said that men tend to be more violent and agressive in our world, through past eras right up to the present day.
Testosterone Can Provoke Aggression
Some women fear men because they are sexually aggressive or uncouth. The male sex drive, derived from copious levels of the hormone testosterone, gives rise to appetites and drives that sometimes frighten women.
Rape and sexual assault can be prime triggers here. Any woman who has suffered through the unwanted advances of a man, violent or not, understands the pressures and revulsions this can cause.
If a woman has been assaulted, she will never look at the male gender the same way again. She will lose faith and trust, and may come to develop Androphobia as an understandable response to her experiences with the gender.
Many women who have suffered sexual abuse at the hands of men will retreat from romantic associations with them. They may need extensive therapy and treatment in order to regain the trust that has been damaged and broken.
Male aggression is generally the cause of Androphobia. A stern, harsh father figure may trigger the phobia in girls or boys. While Androphobia is primarily a female disorder, it can affect both genders.
Sexual confusion can also contribute to the fear of men. A boy or man who struggles with homosexuality may feel great anxiety about the very gender he desires. His tension will be rooted in guilt, shame, or fear of rejection.
Lesbians may also suffer from this phobia, although it’s by no means a given. Turning away from men in favor of other women may be a biological imperative (currently, scientists are exploring the possibility of a gay “gene”) or a choice.
Lesbians are not attracted to the male body, and they do not feel the standard heterosexual attraction to males. In fact, some lesbians find men rough, coarse, and insensitive. They are only aroused by the gentler, more maternal qualities that some women possess.
Lesbians cite easier communication with other women as a common reason for their attractions to women. They also feel safer and more comfortable with women, who express themselves very differently from men.
Power Plays A Role In Androphobia
So, it can be said that violence, male sexual aggression, and perhaps male insensitivity are the key triggers for this phobia. However, some feminists develop Androphobia because they are weary of men holding the reins of power – in government, in corporations, in the establishment.
Feminism rejects the patriarchal model. Women who believe they are every inch the equal of their male counterparts will vehemently reject a male-dominated society. Who is to say they are wrong?
Women in our world are paid less for equal work, often struggle to balance home and family, for which they are often largely responsible, with the demands of a job. The male-female stereotypes still play themselves out on the global stage, trapping men and women in assigned roles that may feel awkward and uncomfortable.
Those who rebel against the patriarchal culture and the “boy’s club” mentality will be sure to suffer from some measure of Androphobia, but it can be a largely logical response to what they see all around them. They may not have the physical symptoms and troubles that a full-fledged phobia will provoke.
Phobias can occur in different degrees. There will be a huge difference between the terror a woman who has been raped feels, when compared to someone who simply finds a male-dominated world tiresome and out of date.
Therapy and education are the best weapons against this phobia. They will provide perspective and some relief against Androphobia.