Bill Spriggs, my friend and competitor (figure the Darwin in that! We perhaps both benefit from an Arms Race? Or a little symbiosis?) at www.evoyage.com/genderdifferences.html has listed the DSM-IV headings according to male/female frequencies. He wants comments. I will send him mine. Meanwhile, Robin Walker of the UK offers the following provocative note. It is shared with his consent.
"Where to begin?
"I think I will just quarter the field with my nose down and from time to time cross Bill's track by accident.
"The whole of human social history is one long scream of rage and disappointment and if you listen carefully the the cumulative voice is more feminine than male.
"The DSM -IV and its mouldy old predecessors are bones long rejected from this buffer's basket! I growl ferociously over a new juicy discovery "denosologisation" with its rich marrow of "hedonic theory". I believe that concepts such as "time budgets" are misleading, mathematically convenient labels for the reality of reward budgets. I have the idea that every day offers a great ice cream sundae of multilayered rewards. These layers include all appetites, the pleasures of bonding in all its forms, the joy of exercise, the frissons of encounter and escape from fear and beyond touch, scent and taste the joy of thought and mental exploration.
"Men and women do indeed differ greatly in their budgetary need for some of the layers but they share the intellectual and most of the appetitive cravings.
"Lack of adequate reward share is experienced with the neurochemistry of non-reward, frustration, anhedonia, disappointment, bereavement, grief, or rage. Give it any name or systematise it with any degree of complexity you desire, the unrewarding experience is a continuum which offers a gamut of sensation from the twinge of annoyance to the vomiting of absolute dismay.
"The frustrations of women erupt historically in forms which range from matriarchal rage through shamanism, witchcraft, the explosive myralogia of repressed Greek female mourners, to "hysteria" and are noticed. The silent endurance of male duplicity in bonding, maternal anxiety, grotesque sleep deprivation by infant demands and limitations on expression by a host of cultural norms, is the wellspring of depression.
"Recent books about the First World War reveal insights into the nature of mental disorders developed by soldiers engaged in the horrors of trench warfare. It has been observed that men came to manifest psychic suffering which resembled that commonly held (at that time) to be typical of women! The conclusion has been drawn that men had at last found themselves in situations of helplessness and impotence that resembled those endured by women in society. In these days the plight of unemployed and insecure men might be carefully matched against the condition of undervalued and insecure women.
"How female humans, or for that matter hominids, fared emotionally in eras prior to the confining influences of settled dwelling and the loss of hunter-gatherer role values is conjectural but I have a feeling that I am snuffling along much the same scent as Bill." ---------------