ECT and women: on the other side of the electrodes

While women in Western countries are much more likely to be given electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) than men, they are in a minority when it comes to using it or writing about it.

A survey in the United States found that, all else being equal (that is, allowing the fact that men and women may work in different settings and have different workloads, etc) male psychiatrists were three times as likely to use ECT as female psychiatrists.

Women are also under-represented amongst the those who have influence in the field of ECT. The authors of textbooks, etc, the psychiatrists who chair the committees or write the guidelines on ECT are predominately male.

Just one example: in 2005 the editors and editorial board of the Journal of ECT consisted of 37 men and 7 women.

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