Gynophobia refers to irrational fears associated with female body parts or bodily functions such as menstruation, the breasts, or vagina. It also can refer to the fear of females altogether. The symptoms of this phobia can be moderate to severe and they can range from a nervousness or panic when interacting with a woman, to an inability to be around women. A strong hatred towards women can develop. Typically, there may have been some kind of abuse done to the male suffering with this psychological condition, probably at the hands of a female.
A traumatic childhood event is generally believed to be the primary cause for this phobia. This usually happens when the male child is close to approaching puberty. It can also happen from a systematic female behavior that the sufferer observed for a number of years. For example, if a mother is strict and does not show her son love and affection, over time he may start to believe that all females behave in this manner. This can begin a cycle of hatred towards all women.
Homosexuality is not to be confused with gynophobia. Homosexual men do not, by nature, become stressed or anxious about being around women. Though they are attracted to men sexually, they do not fear the vagina or breasts. Some men who suffer with this phobia can have what appears to be a normal relationship with women. These relationships can also stay in place until the male is confronted with the thought of a sexual relationship.
Occasionally, gynophobia is a symptom of another disorder. Anxiety and panic disorders can be responsible for a fear of women, or sex, but in some cases that is not due to a hatred of women. The male might even want to have sex, but is unable to achieve an erection when put in a sexual situation. Certain mental disorders that include schizophrenia or bipolar depression can produce feelings of hatred towards women, even if they are just hallucinations. Until these disorders are under control, the negative feelings can remain.
The treatments for gynophobia can vary depending on what caused it. Certain mental disorders can be controlled by medication. Anxiety-related phobias can be helped by learning relaxation techniques. Behavioral and exposure therapies and meditation, therapeutic massage, and yoga can be treatments for males who have gynophobia as a result of an abusive childhood.