ERIC Number: ED208268
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1981-Mar-6
Reference Count: 0
Borderline Personality: A New Psychiatric Syndrome or Another Example of Male Disapproval of Female Behavior?
Nathans, Judith A.
The ramifications resulting from a social system organized on a male hierarchy which devalues and is insensitive to the female experience are keenly felt in the professions of psychiatry and psychology. Borderline personality disorder which, over the past decade has gained popularity in the literature and in clinical circles, is predominantly diagnosed in women. The borderline syndrome is generally defined as a pathological response to separation and individuation. These individuals lack a clear sense of who they are and feel empty and alone. Their inability to gratify their emotional needs results in unstable and intense interpersonal relationships marked by clinging dependency; they are unable to effectively channel their aggression and often turn it against themselves. These characteristics, albeit extreme in borderline individuals, have been traditionally viewed as feminine concerns and behaviors. Behaviors which characterize the borderline personality may be viewed on a continuum representing the dilemmas related to sex roles and social expectations within a male-defined social system. Women's issues and concerns are historically intertwined with psychiatric disorders, especially during transitional periods in society. (Author/NRB)
Publication Type: Information Analyses; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Convention of the Association for Women in Psychology (8th, Boston, MA, March 5-8, 1981).