Gynophobia (also spelled as "gynephobia") is an abnormal fear of women. In the past, the Latin term was used, "horror feminae", literally meaning "fear of women". [Raymond Joseph Corsini (1999) "The Dictionary of Psychology", ISBN 158391028X, [ p. 452] ]
The word caligynephobia is also coined to mean the fear of "beautiful" women. For the latter one the expression "venustraphobia" is also used ["Venus trap phobia"] .

It should not be confused with misogyny, which is dislike of or prejudice against women, although the term may be seen used in this meaning as well.

Gynophobia used to be considered a driving force toward homosexuality. Havelock Ellis in his 1896 "Studies in the Psychology of Sex" wrote:

It is, perhaps, not difficult to account for the horror - much stronger than that normally felt toward a person of the same sex - with which the invert often regards the sexual organs of persons of the opposite sex. It cannot be said that the sexual organs of either sex under the influence of sexual excitement are esthetically pleasing; they only become emotionally desirable through the parallel excitement of the beholder. When the absence of parallel excitement is accompanied in the beholder by the sense of unfamiliarity as in childhood, or by a neurotic hypersensitiveness, the conditions are present for the production of intense "horror feminae" or "horror masculis", as the case may be. It is possible that, as Otto Rank argues in his interesting study, "Die Naktheit im Sage und Dichtung," [sic] this horror of the sexual organs of the opposite sex, to some extent felt even by normal people, is embodied in the Melusine type of legend. [ [ Works of Havelock Ellis] at Project Gutenberg]

Wilhelm Stekel in his book "Sadism and Masochism: The Psychology of Hatred and Cruelty" discusses "horror feminae" of a male masochist.

Some authors consider the myths about Amazons (Eva Keuls argues that violent amazons are the evidence of gynophobia in Classical Athens. [Eva C. Keuls, "The Reign of the Phallus: Sexual Politics in Ancient Athens", ISBN 0520079299, [ p. 332] ] ) and medieval witch hunts to be manifestations of gynophobia in human culture.

Both misogyny and gynophobia, as well as oppression and discrimination of women, have at times been present in the practices of the monotheistic religions of Christianity, Judaism and Islam. [Serinity Young (1999) "Encyclopedia of Women and World Religion"ISBN 0028646088, p. 360.]

ee also

*Androphobia fear of men


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Look at other dictionaries:

  • gynophobia — gy·no·pho·bi·a (gī nə fōʹbē ə, jĭn ə , jī nə ) n. 1. Fear of or contempt for women. 2. Behavior based on such an attitude or feeling.   gyʹno·phobe n. gy no·phoʹbic ( fōʹbĭk) adj. * * * …   Universalium

  • gynophobia — noun Fear of women. Ant: androphobia …   Wiktionary

  • gynophobia — gyno·pho·bia (gi″no ) (jin″o foґbe ə) gynephobia …   Medical dictionary

  • gynophobia — [ˌgʌɪnə(ʊ) fəʊbɪə, ˌdʒʌɪ ] noun extreme or irrational fear of women. Derivatives gynophobic adjective …   English new terms dictionary

  • gynophobia — See: gynephobia …   Grandiloquent dictionary

  • gynophobia — /gaɪnəˈfoʊbiə/ (say guynuh fohbeeuh) noun a morbid fear of women. –gynophobic, adjective, noun …   Australian-English dictionary

  • Gynophobia —    An intense fear of women. See Androphobia …   The writer's dictionary of science fiction, fantasy, horror and mythology

  • gynophobia — noun a morbid fear of women • Hypernyms: ↑social phobia …   Useful english dictionary

  • гинофобия — (gynophobia; гино + фобия) см. Гинекофобия …   Большой медицинский словарь

  • Гинофоби́я — (gynophobia; гино (Гин ) + Фобия) см. Гинекофобия …   Медицинская энциклопедия

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