Gender Differences in Dissociation
A Dimensional ApproachSpitzer C. · Klauer T. · Grabe H.J. · Lucht M. · Stieglitz R.D. · Schneider W. · Freyberger H.J.
aDepartment of Psychiatry and Psychotherapy, Ernst Moritz Arndt University, Greifswald/Stralsund, and bDepartment of Psychosomatic Medicine and Psychotherapy, University of Rostock, Rostock, Germany; cUniversity Psychiatry Outpatient Department, Kantonsspital Basel, Basel, Switzerland
Considering that epidemiological research on dissociative disorders has suggested a 9 to 1 predominance of female cases, this study investigated the relationship between gender and dissociation using a dimensional approach. A total of 2,153 participants from different diagnostic groups completed the Dissociative Experience Scale. In order to control for the confounding effect of current psychopathology a subgroup 790 subjects additionally completed the SCL-90. We did not find any differences in the general or pathological dissociation scores. Hypothetical gender differences in dissociative psychopathology were not a function of diagnostic categories. There were no significant sex differences in the distribution of high dissociators. Our findings suggest that men and women do not generally differ in dissociative psychopathology. The implications for future investigations on the epidemiology, etiology, and psychobiology of dissociative symptoms are discussed.
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