Gender Difference in Severity of Schizophrenia

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Letter to the Editor

Sir: The summary by Lindamer et al. (January 1999 issue) regarding gender differences and age states that “women overall may develop more severe positive symptoms [of schizophrenia] than men” and ends with a conclusion: “These differences may reflect the influence of sex hormones and menopause . . . or the possible existence of an ‘estrogen-related’ form of schizophrenia. . . .”

Neither the summary nor the text itself gives any mention of the fact that a mother-girl experience in infancy may be sufficiently different from a mother-boy experience to influence symptom outcome. Not to also offer this possibility is shoddy science.

J Clin Psychiatry 2000;61(1):61