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Male Shoppers

October 24, 2006

Despite gender stereotypes and past data, compulsive shopping afflicts men and women about equally.


The masculine side of compulsive shopping. I’m Bob Hirshon and this is Science Update.

Despite popular stereotypes, men are about as likely as women to be compulsive shoppers. This according to a new study by psychiatrist Lorrin Koran and his colleagues at the Stanford University School of Medicine. The researchers screened over twenty-five hundred randomly selected adults for compulsive shopping patterns, like irresistible urges to buy things they never use. Koran says prior studies were misleading because they actively recruited volunteers who thought they had a shopping problem. Eighty to 90 percent of these volunteers were women.

LORRIN KORAN (Stanford University School of Medicine):
And so it was thought that men weren’t particularly affected by this problem. But now it looks like men are about equally affected, and just don’t come for help. Which is what we see also in men with major depression.

He hopes the findings will encourage more of these men to seek treatment. I’m Bob Hirshon, for AAAS, the science society.