Sex Differences Among the Personality Disorders: An Exploration of the Data

Elizabeth M. Corbitt, Thomas A. Widiger

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

70 Scopus citations


Diagnosis of the personality disorders (PDs) across men and women has been the focus of considerable controversy in the psychological and psychiatric literature, most of which has concerned the possibility of a sex bias. However, the interpretation of the differential sex prevalence rates reported within the literature is complicated and problematic even if one assumes an absence of sex bias. The most recent revision of the American Psychiatric Association's (APA) Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, 4th ed. (DSM‐IV) contains substantial revisions in the conclusions presented in an earlier edition of the manual (DSM‐III‐R) regarding the existence of sex differences in the PDs. This article reviews the empirical support for the conclusions provided in DSM‐IV, discusses the complicated nature of interpreting sex prevalence rates across different samples, and offers a conceptual model for understanding sex differences among the PDs.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)225-238
Number of pages14
JournalClinical Psychology: Science and Practice
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 1995


  • human sex differences
  • personality disorders
  • personality measures
  • psychiatric diagnosis
  • sex bias

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Psychology


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