Anxiety disorders occur in individuals of all ages and a fear of men is considered to be one of the most common types of phobias. This phobia is known as androphobia, it can afflict males and females of all ages, from early childhood to adulthood. Although the fear of men can occur in both males and females, it is more commonly present in young females. Causes may vary, but a fear of males most commonly exists in individuals who have suffered some type of traumatic experience. There are other causes of androphobia as well, and this condition should be diagnosed and treated by a professional.
Signs of androphobia most commonly manifest in early childhood. In many cases, young girls exhibit a fear of males for no apparent reason. The child may seem reluctant to be alone with a man, even a close friend or relative. The child may also develop nightmares involving men, or show a mistrust towards men in general. The fear of men may be due to mistreatment or abuse by a man, although this is not always the case.
Severe cases of andropobia are most commonly present in children and teenagers, and some of the symptoms include extreme anxiety when around men, or a feeling of terror. Young children may scream or cry when encountering a man, while others have difficulty sleeping. In adults, an extreme fear of males may cause the individual to become withdrawn and isolated. Single adult women with androphobia may not wish to associate with men and choose not to date.
Common symptoms include heart palpitations or sweating. Some individuals who exhibit this fear may also have difficulty communicating with men, and may stammer or stutter in their presence. In extreme cases, visible signs of androphobia may include quivering. A fear of males is commonly seen in girls or women who have been physically abused or raped. Although the majority of individuals who suffer from this fear are female, boys and men who have been violently abused by men may also show signs of androphobia.
If left untreated, individuals with androphobia may become severely depressed or even suicidal. After a diagnosis has been determined, psychologists and specially trained phobia counselors can suggest an effective treatment plan for the individual. Treatment for an abnormal fear of men may include behavioral therapy and medication.