A recent New York Magazine article titled "Why Does Being a Woman Put You at Greater Risk of Having Anxiety?" focuses on the link between gender and anxiety disorder. An estimated 18.1 percent of American adults suffer from some form of anxiety disorder, but it disproportionately affects women, who are about twice as likely to develop the illness.
Wall Street Journal writer Andrea Petersen, author of the new book On Edge: A Journey Through Anxiety says there are a number of risk factors that contribute to anxiety but "[t]here is no greater risk factor for anxiety disorders than being born female.”
This of course raises the question of whether women are "born anxious" or if society conditions us to be that way. When the outlet tweeted out a link to the article, people were quick to offer their ideas about why women are more likely to develop anxiety disorders.
As several of these users pointed out, harassment can play a major role in anxiety especially for those of us who are already prone to the disorder. A 2014 survey found that 65% of women have experienced street harassment at least once.
Furthermore, women are twice as likely to develop PTSD (which is a form of anxiety disorder) because the traumas most commonly experienced by women (specifically sexual assault, domestic violence, and other physical abuse) are more intimate and personal, and the perpetrators are often people the victims once trusted.
And the Trump tweet refers to a problem far greater than people who are upset and angry that he was elected president. Shortly after the election, The Ottawa Citizen reported that female sexual assault survivors said Trump's behavior and rhetoric "triggered their own trauma and made them physically ill." Furthermore, women are genuinely concerned and anxious about our reproductive rights, which have been under attack over the past six months.
Our environment and culture certainly aren't the sole reasons women are a greater risk for anxiety, but these tweets hit close to home.