Current Psychiatry Reports

, 20:107 | Cite as

Sex Differences in Personality Disorders

  • Barbara Schulte HolthausenEmail author
  • Ute Habel
Personality Disorders (K Bertsch, Section Editor)
Part of the following topical collections:
  1. Topical Collection on Personality Disorders


Purpose of Review

This review aims to give an overview on the current literature on sex differences in personality disorders and to highlight the potential of dimensional approaches.

Recent Findings

Empirical findings on sex differences in personality disorders are inconsistent and appear to be highly dependent on study settings. Current studies have mainly focused on borderline and antisocial personality disorder and the question whether these are sex-specific representations of a common substrate. In general, sexes differ in the manifestation of personality disorders as well as in comorbidities. Criticism of the established categorical model led to an additional dimensional model of personality disorders in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fifth Edition.


Investigations on sex differences in personality disorders are sparse and mainly limited to antisocial and borderline personality disorder. The introduction of a dimensional model offers the chance to re-think the construct of “personality disorder” and thereby also opens the possibility for a better understanding of sex differences.


Sex differences Personality disorder Gender 


Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of Interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Human and Animal Rights and Informed Consent

This article does not contain any studies with human or animal subjects performed by any of the authors.


Papers of particular interest, published recently, have been highlighted as: • Of importance

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Psychiatry, Psychotherapy and Psychosomatics, Faculty of MedicineRWTH Aachen UniversityAachenGermany
  2. 2.Institute of Neuroscience and Medicine: JARA-Institute Brain Structure Function Relationship (INM 10)Research Center JülichJülichGermany

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