Do Men and Women Feel Anxiety Differently?


Please let me know what you think about how the genders experience anxiety differently.


Anxiety 1I looked into his eyes as he asked me about 67 questions about what would happen on his first day of school. My son was anxious and when he gets anxious, he asks A LOT of questions.

Watching him made me wonder if men and women experience anxiety differently. My first response is of course! But not so fast. Anxiety is something big, it is often scary and it is sometimes debilitating. And anxiety is a little like taxes: everyone will experience it.

But is anxiety different for men and women?

I suspect that male anxiety is socialized to appear more as a task-oriented experience. Men get anxious but show it by becoming angry (often an unproductive way to try to demand or bring about solutions), or getting busy doing things that may or may not get to the heart.

Women are socialized to experience anxiety more regarding their ability to make others feel cared for or connected.

Saying that “women or men experience anxiety this way, or that way” sets off a lot of things for me. First, it sets the genders against each other. It assumes that there is one way that anxiety besets women and a separate way that it bedevils men.

There is no gender-specific diagnosis for anxiety, however, we cannot ignore that socialization causes each gender, and each person, to feel their anxiety differently. I suspect this is the reason for the anxiety ‘gender gap.’ We all feel anxious. Some of us feel significant anxiety and we express that differently.

Turns out I’m wrong.

What do you think? Do men and women experience anxiety differently and why?

I’d love to hear from you. I am writing about gender and anxiety. I’d love to learn more from you. Please email me at or Facebook Message me.

Keep it Real

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