Unknown Prejudice and Mental Illness

by BLMayotte on December 9, 2016 - 4:06pm

            In recent years, the fight for those with mental illness has become far more prominent. Though this is great, many do not realize the many levels of the issue in regards to stigmatization of the mentally ill. In this research article titled, The Role of Gender in Mental-Illness Stigma, an interesting perspective is explored. Most advocates of the mental health field do not consider the aspect that gender plays in the stigmatization of these mentally ill individuals. Certain genders are matched with certain disorders in the mind of society. Because of this, the gender has a major impact on the opinion of others in regards to the individual’s mental illness. In this quantitative study, participants are asked to read about patients with either alcohol abuse or major depression. People often associate females with suffering from the latter and males with the former. The mental illnesses and genders were mixed and matched in each scenario the participant read. After evaluating the participants’ rating of their feelings after the reading, surprising results were discovered.

            The role that gender plays in any type of stigmatization is often overlooked when the topic is not overtly masculine or feminine.  In the case of mental illness, any with alcohol abuse or major depression should be helped and respected. However, when the illness matches the typical gender it is associated with, less pity and empathy is felt by many. The topic of mental illness is very important to some as is gender discrimination. The information that the two are more closely connected than one might originally think can create a movement on both parts. Most want discrimination and stigmatization to end but the first step is discovering all of the occurrences and details.


Bodenhausen, V., Wirth, James. (2009). The Role of Gender in Mental-Illness Stigma

A National Experiment. Psychological Science. Retrieved from




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