Psychotropic drug use by women: Could violence account for the gender difference?

D. Mazza, L. Dennerstein

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleOtherpeer-review

9 Citations (Scopus)


Cross-national studies show that the female to male ratio of psychotropic drug use is approximately 2:1. Twenty per cent of female general practice patients are prescribed psychotropic drugs. The reasons behind this remain unclear but research points to the higher levels of psychopathology either experienced or reported by women. Recent studies have shown a strong association between the experience of domestic violence and sexual abuse and the development of mental ill health. It may be that women who use psychotropic drugs represent a group who are more likely to be victims of violence. If this is the case then doctors should be incorporating questioning about violence when thinking of prescribing such drugs. Further research is necessary to clarify whether or not a relationship exists between psychotropic drug use by women and a previous or current history of physical or sexual abuse.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)229-234
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Psychosomatic Obstetrics and Gynaecology
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 1996
Externally publishedYes


  • Psychopathology
  • Psychotropic drugs
  • Sexual abuse
  • Spouse abuse

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