Alexis Pantoja-Gonzalez's paper, "Gendered Disorders: An Analysis of the Impact of Gender Norms on Mental Illness Prevalence," was selected as the best undergraduate paper for the academic year 2019/20.
"The U.S. has experienced a constant high rate of mental illnesses, and measures to
observe this or attempts to fund resources has not been addressed as a necessary action. With
rates differing between men and women, I hoped to shed some light on this phenomenon from a
sociological perspective, rather than the previous scholarship’s focus on biological explanations.
In this research, I attempt to find the current prevalence of mental illnesses for men and women
and explain it through gender ideology. To do this is I analyzed the Mental Health Client-Level
data portion of a Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA)
dataset from the years 2014-2017, which contained various information on individuals receiving
mental health services from state agencies. I found that women were experiencing significantly
higher rates of mental illnesses than men, a conclusion that further supports and modernizes
previous work. I also found that the mental illness diagnosis received by each gender coincided
with gender stereotypes and norms. This information can help find solutions for help-seeking
behaviors, counseling, and bias training for doctors/psychiatrists."