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Gender Differences In Antisocial Personality Disorder: An Explanation Of Theories Of Unequal

1210 words - 5 pages


Gender Differences in Antisocial Personality Disorder: An Explanation of Theories of Unequal Diagnosis

Gender Differences in Antisocial Personality Disorder: An Explanation of Theories of Unequal Diagnosis

This paper will discuss the Cluster B personality disorder known as antisocial personality disorder. More specifically, it will attempt to explain various theories formulated about the difference in prevalence in male and female populations and why men are so much more likely to receive a diagnosis.
Before we can begin to discuss the reasons that the disorder is more commonly diagnosed in men, we must first understand some background information on the disorder itself. Antisocial personality disorder was first introduced as a disorder in 1980 by the American Psychiatric Association (Moran, 1999). Its overall prevalence is about 3% and 1%, in the male and female populations respectively, according to the DSM-IV-TR. Other studies report varying percentages. If the population is a prison, forensic, or substance abuse treatment setting, the prevalence is even higher (American Psychiatric Association, 2000). In a number of studies, the prevalence rate was found to be as high as 40-60% in the male prison population.
The disorder is marked by a persistent pattern of disregard for the rights of others. This, in addition to the repeated violation of others’ rights, is able to be traced back to childhood or early adolescence and continues to be evidenced in adulthood. The diagnostic criteria are as follows. There must be evidence of at least three of the following occurring since the age of 15: failure to conform to social norms and lawful behaviors (this is shown by repeatedly performing illegal acts), deceitfulness (repeated lying, use of aliases, or conning others), impulsivity, irritability and aggressiveness, disregard for the safety of self and others, consistent irresponsibility, and a lack of remorse (evidenced by being either indifferent to the inflicted pain of others or rationalizing antisocial behavior against others). The individual being diagnosed must be at least 18, have evidence of Conduct Disorder before the age of 15, and the occurrence of the antisocial behavior is not only seen during the course of a manic episode or schizophrenia.
Individuals with antisocial personality disorder frequently commit illegal acts like destroying property, stealing, and harassing others. They often employ manipulation and deceit to obtain profit or pleasure. The criterion of impulsivity is often seen in a lack of planning. In other words, these individuals live in the present, not thinking about the past or future. This is often seen in numerous and sudden job changes, homes, or significant others. They tend to repeatedly fight with others and commit physical assault. A reckless disregard for one’s safety...

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