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1st Student's Major

Communication Studies

1st Student's College

Arts and Humanities

Students' Professional Biography

Brianna Kloss is a graduating senior at Minnesota State University, Mankato, and is looking forward to graduate school to continue her studies in feminist research. Her decision to major in psychology was made due to a longtime interest in psychological disorders after being diagnosed with Bipolar. Before graduating from Mankato East High School in 2002, she volunteered with a student-lead Yellow Ribbon Suicide Intervention/Prevention Program group. In addition to continued volunteerism she enjoyed providing volunteer opportunities for others as an Activities Coordinator for Psi Chi National Honor Society for Psychology.

Mentor's Name

Rachel Anderson Droogsma

Mentor's Email Address

rachel.droogsma@mnsu.edu

Mentor's Department

Communication Studies

Mentor's College

Arts and Humanities

Abstract

Criticisms of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (4th ed., text rev.; DSM-IV-TR; American Psychiatric Association [APA], 2000), the most widely recognized system for classification of psychological disorders in the U.S., including gender discriminating disorders and diagnoses, have existed for all editions of the DSM. Arguably, gender construction has a profound influence on the standards and evaluation of normal and abnormal behaviors. Concern for the presence of gender bias of personality disorders has been raised within the DSM, in part, by the frequent diagnoses made according to gender stereotypes. The DSM-IV-TR characterizes personality disorders as marked distress and impairment caused by persistent and inflexible thoughts and behaviors that deviate from cultural norms (APA, 2000). Disorders are categorized into three clusters: (A) odd or eccentric, (B) dramatic, emotional, or erratic, and (C) fearful or anxious. With a specific focus on cluster b personality disorders (Antisocial, Borderline, Narcissistic, and Histrionic), I conducted a rhetorical analysis of the diagnostic criteria to evaluate evidence of consistency with, or deviation from, gender expected behaviors: four masculine and four feminine expectations, explicated by Wood (2007). Similar underlying characteristics of criterion between disorders were masked by differences of gendered behaviors, i.e. impulsivity, which has been defined differently across the gendered disorders. Disorders were then compared based on similarity of diagnostic characteristics, level of gender consistency, and the prevalence and frequency of gendered diagnoses. Adopting a multidimensional approach for the diagnosis of personality disorders would be more comprehensive and would accommodate for individual human differences and support the development of new treatments.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 4.0 License

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