Date of Submission

Spring 2016

Academic Programs and Concentrations


Project Advisor 1

Amy Winecoff

Abstract/Artist's Statement

Gender-role stereotypes affect how people with mental disorders are perceived and judged. People with a gender-stereotype congruent mental disorder (i.e., men with alcohol use disorder) are viewed as less mentally ill and more to blame for their disorder than people with a gender stereotype-incongruent disorder (i.e., women with alcohol use disorder, Wirth & Bodenhausen, 2009). Borderline personality disorder (BPD) symptoms and comorbidities often vary between men and women along gendered lines (i.e., explosive anger is more common in men with BPD and compulsive buying is more common in women). These different presentations may cause men and women with BPD to be differently perceived. These differential perceptions may contribute to the under-representation of men with BPD in mental health care. Vignettes depicting a person with BPD were adapted to vary the sex (male or female) and symptoms (explosive anger or compulsive buying) of the vignette subject. These vignettes and a survey of participants’ attitudes towards the vignette subject were hosted on MTURK to test the hypotheses that compared to gender-stereotype incongruent vignette subjects, the subjects of gender stereotype-congruent vignettes would be (1) seen as needing less psychological help, (2) more blamed for their symptoms, and (3) less disliked. These hypotheses were unsupported. However, these data revealed that male participants disliked female vignette subjects less than male vignette subjects, but female participants disliked all vignette subjects equally. This pattern also suggests that men and women may use gendered information about people with BPD differently.

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