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Self-Harm Behaviors in Borderline Personality: An Analysis by Gender

Sansone, Randy A. MD*†; Lam, Charlene BS*; Wiederman, Michael W. PhD

The Journal of Nervous and Mental Disease: December 2010 - Volume 198 - Issue 12 - p 914-915
doi: 10.1097/NMD.0b013e3181fe75c8
Brief Reports

A number of authors have examined gender differences in patients with borderline personality disorder. Current data suggest that for some clinical features, there appear to be genuine gender differences, whereas for other clinical features, there are not apparent differences. In this study, we examined by gender 22 self-harm behaviors in 61 internal medicine outpatients with borderline personality symptomatology. We found that only 2 self-harm behaviors were statistically significantly more common in one of the sexes—head-banging and losing a job on purpose, with both being more common in men. These findings appear to mirror the existing literature—i.e., that there may be some genuine gender differences with regard to specific self-harm behaviors, but the majority of self-harm behaviors overlap between the sexes.

*Wright State University School of Medicine, Dayton, OH; †Kettering Medical Center, Kettering, OH; and ‡Columbia College, Columbia, SC.

Send reprint requests to Randy A. Sansone, MD, Sycamore Primary Care Center, 2115 Leiter Rd, Miamisburg, OH 45342. E-mail:

© 2010 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.