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The Influence of Gender on Anxiety?

Apr 4, 2008
When talking of the influence of gender on anxiety, many individuals will immediately hold up their hands and cry foul. Most have had up to their ears of the "men vs. women" row and clamor for equality on both sides of the issue - women saying how their lives are just as stressed as any man's, and men pointing out that they shouldn't get the short end of the stick because they're expected to be tough.

Having said all that, when discussing the influence of gender on anxiety, it should be pointed that it's not always a "who has it worse" approach. Men and women are not the same, that's a fact, but different shouldn't always be taken to mean who is better or who is worse.

Also, when speaking of the influence of gender on anxiety, it's important to remember that we are talking in general terms here. All women are different from one another, as are all men. It's not a good practice to think that "all women" are a particular way or "all men" react the same to the same situation.

Women - Learn to Say "No"

But talking in general terms, there is some ground for studying the influence of gender on anxiety. For example, it's usually noted that even in this day and age, women are still taught to be people pleasers. Most women shy away from controversy and dislike telling people "no" when something is asked of them.

Obviously this can bring on added anxiety and stress, as women often take on too much and have a tough time understanding when they're stressing themselves. Much of our stress today comes from juggling too many responsibilities and projects, and the impact of gender on anxiety can be seen as women consistently take on substancial roles at home and in their career choice.

Having it All is Part of the Influence of Gender on Anxiety

Additionally, many women these days still want to "have it all," meaning a home, a family, and a full-time career. Unfortunately, it's been noted that while they juggle a full-time work, they are still expected to do the bigger share of the housework and childcare responsibilities.

The impact of gender on anxiety must take into account a woman's several responsibilities and the role that she is still expected to manage in the home and at the work place. A man may come home after a long day at work and still expect there to be dinner on the table, the house cleaned, the children bathed, and all other work done, while the woman still has many hours of chores ahead of her.

Need to Be Perfect

Another vital aspect of studying the effect of gender on anxiety is the high standard of perfection that many women put upon themselves. There are too many TV programs, commercials, and other advertising outlets make it seem as if all homes should be spotless, meals made from scratch, and families run faultlessly.

Many women call it the Martha Stewart Syndrome, where she is still expected to be a perfect homemaker, mom, and wife, while working eight, nine, or even ten hours at a job. This unrealistic standard that has been thrust upon her is part of the influence of gender on anxiety, as of course no one manage several jobs at once and expect to do them all perfectly.

The Influence of Gender on Anxiety When Dealing With Men and Isolation

However, when we turn our attention to the men, we understand that when talking about their issues we cannot ignore the influence of gender on anxiety as well. As said, men are often taught to be tough and stern, even with themselves. Any stress or nervousness they feel must be squashed immediately, as they are set up to the rock or anchor for their family.

Men are still told that emotions are a weakness, and so they cannot be expressed or even felt. The influence of gender on anxiety comes into play when a man feels pressured, pulled in many different directions, or has far too many problems and issues to deal with, but is not allowed to express how he feels or ask for support and reassurance. This turns those feelings into a pressure cooker of frustration and sometimes anger, as he may feel trapped.

The Influence of Gender on Anxiety and What Causes Stress and Worry

Also, the influence of gender on anxiety comes into play when the discussion turns to what a person feels anxious about. A woman usually is concerned with her family and children, and with her own marriage. She is concerned with the family bond and wonders about the future, if the family will stay intact over the years.

A man on the other hand is often worried with providing for the family, and may feel stressful about economic conditions in general, his own career stability, and his need for advancement and validation as a caretaker. Women feel a connection to their family and often identify themselves as to their family connections, whereas a man feels validation through the things he can provide for his family.

The influence of gender on anxiety explains why men and women are anxious about different things - she with report cards brought home, how guests react to the house when they visit, about relationships their children are developing, and he with the money in the bank, the vehicle in the driveway, and the home itself. She is worried with connections and relationships in the family; he is anxious with the things he is providing for that family.

In summary we can see that there are some valid points to be made when discussing the influence of gender on anxiety. Obviously it would be shortsighted to mention that either gender is more anxious than the other, and again, every person is different in what they are particularly anxious about and what their concerns are. However, having some insight in how the other persons thinks and feels can be the first step toward dealing properly with that anxiety.
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