What is Sexophobia?

Sexophobia, also known as heterophobia, is the irrational and persistent fear of the opposite sex, sex organs, sexual activity and/or sexuality. It is also known as heterophobia. A social fear, it is generally rooted in heartbreaking experiences with people of the opposite sex.

The name originates from the Latin word “sexus” meaning “gender”.

Symptoms of Sexophobia

Females with this phobia might opt, in extreme cases, to live a life of solitude as a nun, or might choose to work in a job composed only of females. For male sufferers in such extremes, they may choose to become priests with an attendant vow of celibacy.
At minimum, one might expect sufferers to avoid the opposite sex in general.

Emotional / behavioral

  • fear of being judged
  • fear of embarrassment
  • fear of offending others
  • intense fear of strangers
  • fear of being noticed
  • fear of physical symptoms
  • avoiding people
  • intense need to escape
  • extreme irritability
  • extreme anxiety
  • expecting bad outcomes
  • fear of losing control
  • fear of death

Physical symptoms

  • heart palpitations
  • chest pains
  • gastrointestinal distress
  • nausea or diarrhea
  • shortness of breath
  • choking sensations
  • excessive sweating
  • confusion or lack of focus
  • chills or heat flush
  • feeling faint or dizzy
  • trembling or shaking
  • tingling sensations
  • headaches

Learn more about phobia symptoms

Causes of Sexophobia

Sexual embarrassment or trauma seems an obvious cause, but physical problems may also be root causes. Dysfunction or disfigurement may play a role both physically and psychologically.

Sexophobia is a social anxiety disorder. Social phobias result in avoidance of social situations due to fear of being embarrassed in public. Social phobia affects men and women equally. Extreme social anxieties often start in childhood or adolescence and may be accompanied by other anxiety disorders or depression.

The origins of social anxiety disorders are not as well understood as specific (or “isolated”) phobias, where a direct fear of injury from some specific animal, thing or situation forms a clear basis for the fear. Even so, hereditary factors may be present, such as a genetic tendency to be “high strung” or nervous, etc.

In all kinds of phobias, external experiences and / or reports can further reinforce or develop the fear, such as seeing a family member or friend who is affected. In extreme cases, indirect exposures can be as remote as overhearing a reference in conversation or seeing something on the news or on TV and movies.

Sexophobia, like most phobias, stems from a subconscious overprotection mechanism, and as with many phobias can also be rooted in an unresolved emotional conflict.

LEARN ABOUT AGRAPHOBIA

Treatment for Sexophobia

  • Cognitive behavior therapy (CBT)
  • Habit strategies to relax
  • Cognitive therapy (CT)
  • In vivo exposure
  • Response prevention
  • Hypnotherapy
  • Group therapy
  • Psychotherapy
  • Energy Psychology
  • Medication
  • Meditation

Learn more about phobia treatments


Book Shelf

The list of books below are hand picked by the staff at Massive Phobia. It's a mixture of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Habit Strategies, Trauma Healing, Mindfulness, Meditation, Buddhist Knowledge and Somatic Study. We hope you enjoy them as much as we did.