Essays and Theories

Gender Differences in the DSM-IV:
(Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, 4th Edition)

An Observation From an Evolutionary Perspective©
William A. Spriggs

Feb. 10, 1998

While analyzing the DSM-IV over the holidays last year in search of citations for the existence of group social interactions that affect individual behavior from an evolutionary perspective, I made an observation unrelated to that detailed search which, to me, seemed quite obvious.  I wanted to share this observation with others in the hope that it may create more detailed studies from an evolutionary perspective.   I want to warn those reading these conclusions that they are somewhat vague and are intended as speculative observation and not a detailed study. Think of it as a spy's eye view of the planet as a whole, occasionally opposed by a focus on individuals, because such a detailed perspective has the power to change that planetary overview.

The first assumption that one must draw from the DSM-IV is that the mental disorders listed are just that.  They represent behaviors of individuals that are having significant distress in social, academic, or occupational areas of social function, but only reflect a small percentage of the population.  If we assume that mentally healthy people and mentally unhealthy people are using the same modular computational mind structure to solve problems, survey and analyze local conditions, and then act outwardly toward those problems, as we in evolutionary psychology suspect, then one can make the next assumption: That the majority of the populace is  adapting nicely to their local environments without significant distress; barring of course any birth defects, brain damage, or ingestion of harmful chemicals, be they social or industrial. Then the final assumption: Gender differences in the DSM=IV could represent deep, innate behaviors on a universal planetary scale.

In the chart below I have placed the female disorders to the right and the male disorders on the left. (The original chart was done in 1998 this way, but in 2008, I switched the right and left gender roles to conform to the Detailed work that I did with the Helen Fisher book, First Sex)   I have created two large descriptive headings over the female columns and the male columns.  Over the two female columns you see the words LESS MOVEMENT, and over the two male columns you see the words MORE MOVEMENT.  In street evolutionary vernacular, the female mostly stays at HOME, and the male usually is the one who ROAMS. (Yeah, I know it's goofy, but my objective at Evolution's Voyage is to teach the common person). In the middle you will find listed the disorders that are shared by both genders.  Above the five columns of the listed disorders, you will see their description of the disorders in the order of their incidence between the genders as described the DSM-IV.  For example, F1 stands for a mental disorder afflicts the females in heavier ratios than females in F2, such as 3:1 or five times as likely, etc.  F2 represents the mental disorder afflicting the female gender with the descriptive words, Much more or More common. The same descriptive words are attached to the male gender's two columns, only the subheadings are listed as M1 or M2 and run from right to left.  As one reads down the F1 column one begins to see a rough pattern emerging that the female's disorders are more self-centered and evolve less outward movement than the male's.  Is it possible that Seasonal Pattern Specifier Disorder could be the result of generation upon generation of females being herded into caves and being held in close quarters, kept as cattle until the spring weather approached?  Such disorders as Major Depressive Disorder, Seasonal Pattern Specifier, and Nightmare Disorder do not involve wide ranging movement and appear to be inward-directed thoughts.  

Does the herding of woman as cattle and treated as property seem far fetched?  Consider this: The Associated Press on March 1, 98 carried a story of the Taliban religious army in Kabul, Afghanistan administering 100 lashes to a teenage girl for walking with a man who was not her relative.  The news report also reported that the punishment was witnessed by a crowd numbered in the thousands.  The Taliban religious army which imposes a strict version of Islamic law is composed entirely of males.   Listen people -- this event occurred in 1998 -- last year -- not 30,000 years before present when our ancestors dwelled in caves.  The act of lashing the young women was the enforcement of religious beliefs by the Taliban religious army and I will not make a moral judgments based on their rights, but I have reported the incident because it gives strong support to my arguments of the possible treatment of women by our male ancestors of long ago.

In observing the male's mental disorders, one sees movement galore: Exhibitionism, Fetishism, Fetishism, Frotteurism, Pedophillia, Sexual Sadim, Transvestic Fetishim, Voyeurim, Pryromania, and Conduct Disorder. Do the innate behavior motor movements of the male also bleed over into language dysfunctions that studies have found to be more prevalent in males and less in females?  Does the female exhibit more internal thought like POWs in prison camps that use their minds more actively to keep from going crazy?

In conclusion, I want to emphasis again that this is merely my own personal casual observation from an evolutionary perspective.  I have invited members of the Human Behavior and Evolution Society, and the International Paleopsychology Society to review the work and give their comments.  This work is free to anyone wishing to download, and permission is given to freely distribute the work.  I do not feel that any copyrights of the American Psychiatric Association have been violated, but I will mail them a copy of the work for their information.

CAUTION: I feel that this observation is important because it gives strength to the evolutionary theories behind human behavior.  However, it should be stressed that it reflects what has evolved, and may represent somewhat how both genders behaviors today, but it is not a message cut in stone.  It does not mean that is how we will behave in the future.  In fact, I predict that once the gender differences are known completely -- physically, mentally, and emotionally -- we will find a better way then what has evolved.  We are in the Dark Ages, and we all blind.

February 10, 1998

Updated  July, 1999


           Less Movement«(HOME)                                                                             (ROAM)»More Movement




F1) Heavy ratios towards this gender
F2) Much more; More common
3) Mixed, both equal
M2) Much more; More common
M1) Heavy ratios towards this gender
Rett's Disorder  P. 71
Selective Mutism P. 114
Feeding Disorder of Infancy of Early Childhood P. 98
Expressive Language Disorder P. 55
Reading Disorder P. 49
Major Depressive Disorder P. 320
Dementia of the Alzheimer's Type P. 139
Separation Anxiety Disorder P. 110
Mixed Receptive Expressive Language Disorder P. 58
Stuttering P. 63
Dysthymic Disorder P. 345
Sedative - Hypnotic Anxiolytic Induced Disorders P. 261
Cocaine - Related Disorders P. 228
Phonological Disorder P. 61
Autistic Disorder P. 66
Atypical Feature Specifier P. 384
Bipolar II Disorder P. 359
Bipolar I Disorder P. 350
Childhood  Disintegrative Disorder P. 73
Attention-Deficit / Hyperactivity Disorder P. 78
Seasonal Pattern Specifier P. 389
Undiffentiated Somatoform Disorder P. 451
Cyclothymic Disorder P. 363
Asperger's Disorder P. 75
Tourette's Disorder P. 101
Rapid Cycling Specifier P. 390
Pain Disorder P. 458
Social Phobia P. 411
Conduct Disorder P. 85
Sterotypic Movement Disorder P. 118
Panic Disorder w/o Agoraphobia P. 399
Primary Insomnia P. 553
Obsessive Compulsive Disorder P. 417
Encopresis P. 106
Nicotine- Related Disorders P. 245 (foreign / Asian countries)
Substance Related Disorder P. 188
Alcohol Abuse & Dependence P. 202
Panic Disorder w Agoraphobia P. 399
Insomnia Related to Another Mental Disorder P. 592
Hypochondriasis P. 462
Enuresis P. 108
Amphetamine Dependence and Abuse P. 209
Animal & Natural Phobia P. 405
Kleptomania P. 612
Body Dysmorphic Disorder P. 466
Vascular Dementia P. 143
Hallucinogen Use & Intoxication P. 234
Situational Type Disorder P. 405
Trichotillomania P. 618
Sleep Terror Disorder P. 583
Caffeine Related Disorders P. 219
Inhalant - Related Disorders P. 240
Blood - Injection Injury Phobia P. 405
Agoraphobia w/o history of Panic Disorder P. 403
Sleepwalking Disorder P. 587
Cannabis Use Disorders P. 218
Opioid Dependence P. 252
Generalized Anxiety Disorder P. 432
Pathological Gambling P. 615
Schizophrenia P. 282
Phencyclidine Related Disorders P. 261
Conversion Disorder P. 452
Adjustment Disorder P. 623
Pyromania P. 614
Exhibitionism P. 525
Dissociative Identity Disorder P. 484
Histronic Personal Disorder P. 655
Paranoid Personality Disorder P. 634
Fetishism P. 526
Anorexia Nervosa P. 539
Avoidandt Personality Disorder P. 662
Schizoid Personality Disorder P. 638
Frotteurism P. 527
Bulimia Nervosa P. 545
Dependent Personality Disorder P. 665
Passive - Aggressive Personality Disorder P. 733
Pedophilia P. 527
Nightmare Disorder P. 580
Sexual Masochism P. 529
Boderline Personality Disorder P. 650
Sexual Sadism P. 530
Transvestic Fetishism P. 530
Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder P. 715
Voyeurism P. 532
Factitious Disorder by Proxy P. 725
Gender Identity Disorder P. 532
Binge - Eating Disorder P. 729
Primary Hypersomnia P. 557
Breathing - Related Sleep Disorder P. 571
Breathing - Related Sleep Disorder P. 567
Intermittent Explosive Disorder P. 609
Antisocial Personality Disorder P. 645
Narcissistic Personality Disorder P. 658
Obsessive Compulsive Personality Disorder P. 669

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