Gender and mental health with Gina Rippon

Gina Rippon looks at the link between certain mental disorders and our sex in this episode of The Braincare Podcast.

Gina Rippon thinks society has a lot to answer for. The author of The Gendered Brain myth lives to debunk neuroscientific sexism, but when it comes to the societal impact on our mental health she says the evidence is writ large.

You can listen to episode 13 here.

Gender and mental health

On today's Braincare podcast, Gina Rippon brings her wisdom to one of the places where brain health does differ according to gender - mental illness. If male and female brains are so similar, then what causes mental illnesses to manifest differently in men and women?

There are much higher instances in men of depression and in women of eating disorders. There are clear gender gaps that we need to explain.

Nature vs nuture

Gina leans nurture on the nature-nurture divide when discussing gender-prevalent mental illnesses such as eating disorders and suicidal ideation. She explains how societal expectations of self-image or mental toughness can erode, respectively, female and male mental health.

We raise our boys to be brave and our girls to be perfect - and the fact is that men have problems with emotional expression, and women have a lot of problem with self-image.

Podcast episode takeaways

In this second episode with Gina Rippon we will cover:

  • Why are certain mental illnesses linked predominantly to one gender?

  • Self-esteem as a powerful driver in the brain

  • How are genetics linked to eating disorders?

  • Society and the gender brain gap

  • What are the perils of perfectionism?

  • Parkinsons is more prevalent in women, and Alzheimers in men

Listen to the full episode here —and subscribe to The Braincare Podcast to get more bitesize interviews with the world's leading scientists and experts.

Want to hear more about the gendered brain? Check out our previous episode with Gina Rippon on The History of the Myth "The Gendered Brain"


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