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Virginitiphobia- Fear of rape

Fear of rape is the most feared violent offense by women according to some studies. They are even more scared of rape than physical assault or robbery and this fear causes women to avoid going out at night even just to have dinner or coffee with friends and they may have their own self-imposed rules and restrictions so as to avoid being raped.

This fear usually develops at a young age but varies in different cultures. Most conservative groups would have more women with this phobia because they are taught early on that having sexual contact with men other than your husband is bad and should be avoided at any cost. In more liberated groups, the fear of rape stems from the fact that most reported stories of rape involve violence, thus even girls and women in liberated countries also fear rape.

This fear is especially intensified when one is walking along a dark street alone, or when one is home alone. For those with extreme phobia, they would avoid having guy friends for fear that interacting with men can get them raped.

Symptoms include avoidance of interaction with men, and these women prefer staying indoors at night. When alone, or when interacting with men, especially strangers, they can manifest with palpitations, trembling, shortness of breath and other symptoms of anxiety.

Treatment includes behavioral and psychotherapy especially if this interferes with activities of daily living. Medications may be prescribed by your physician if anxiety symptoms become uncontrolled.