Stress Response: Sex Differences

R. J. Handa, R. F. McGivern

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

9 Scopus citations


Sex differences in the hormonal and behavioral responses to stressors are well established in laboratory animals. These differences are related, in part, to the actions of gonadal steroids during early development, as well as adulthood. In laboratory animals, the hormonal reactivity to an emotional or physical stressor is greater in females, whereas behavioral responses are more severe in males. These differences are generally attributed to sex-related differences in coping strategies or in the perception of the stressor. In humans, gender differences in stress reactivity are more complex, with females tending to show greater responses to stressors involving social interactions, and males a greater response to those involving achievement.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationEncyclopedia of Neuroscience
PublisherElsevier Ltd.
Number of pages7
ISBN (Print)9780080450469
StatePublished - 2009


  • ACTH
  • Androgen
  • Anxiety
  • Corticosterone
  • Cortisol
  • Depression
  • Estrogen
  • Estrogen receptor
  • Glucocorticoid receptor
  • HPA axis
  • Learned helplessness
  • Negative feedback
  • Organizational
  • Paraventricular nucleus
  • Sex dimorphism
  • Testosterone

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Neuroscience


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