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Sex Differences in Depression; Do Women Always Have Higher Rates?

Sarah Rosenfield
Journal of Health and Social Behavior
Vol. 21, No. 1 (Mar., 1980), pp. 33-42
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/2136692
Page Count: 10
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Sex Differences in Depression; Do Women Always Have Higher Rates?
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Abstract

The evidence for sex differences in psychiatric disorder is discussed. Evidence for such differences in overall mental health is confounded by methodological problems, but there is strong support for sex differences in depressive disorders. Females have consistently been found to have higher rates of depression and depressive symptomatology than males. Both sex-role explanations and biological explanations have been suggested to account for these differences. The evidence gathered thus far gives limited support to a sex-role explanation. New data are presented on the relation between depressive symptomatology and traditional and nontraditional sex-role relationships in the family in terms of division of labor. In nontraditional relationships, males are found to have higher levels of depressive symptoms than females. Thus further support is given to a sex-role basis for sex differences in depressive symptomatology.

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