Gynophobia or gynephobia is an abnormal fear of women, a type of specific social phobia. In the past, the Latin term horror feminae was used.

Gynophobia should not be confused with misogyny, the hatred, contempt for and prejudice against women, although some may use the terms interchangeably, in reference to the social, rather than pathological aspect of negative attitudes towards women.

The antonym of misogyny is philogyny, the love, respect for and admiration of women.

This term is analogous with androphobia, the abnormal or irrational fear of men.


The term gynophobia comes from the Greek γυνή - gunē, meaning "woman" and φόβος - phobos, "fear".

Hyponyms of the term "gynophobia" include feminophobia,


Gynophobia was previously considered a driving force toward homosexuality. In his 1896 Studies in the Psychology of Sex, Havelock Ellis wrote:

In his book Sadism and Masochism: The Psychology of Hatred and Cruelty, Wilhelm Stekel discusses horror feminae of a male masochist.

In The Dread of Woman (1932), Karen Horney traced the male dread of woman to the boy's fear that his genital is inadequate in relation to the mother.

Professor Eva Keuls argues that violent Amazons are the evidence of the obsessive fear of women in Classical Athens.

See also

Uses material from the Wikipedia article Gynophobia, released under the CC BY-SA 3.0 license.