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Women’s experiences of phobias of insects and other bugs

Psychological research into insect phobias has consistently found that women are more likely than men to suffer from insect phobias. This psychological research takes quantitative approaches (e.g. surveys. inventories) and tends to offer explanations such as evolution or genetics. To offer insights into the subjective experiences of insect phobias and what it means to live with this kind of phobia, this project uses data from semi-structured interviews with women who have insect and bug phobias. Through qualitative discourse analysis drawing on Cognitive Linguistic theories, the aim is to examine the ways in which the feared insect/bug is conceptualised by the women as a threatening and harmful entity. The methods ensure that women's experiences of insects are situated within their social contexts, and will hopefully allow discussions to be opened up about how women's social positions and expectations can play a role in the development and maintenance of insect phobias.

Project status: Completed

Principal Investigator


Funding Body: School of Education, Communication & Society

Amount: 1300

Period: November 2023 - May 2024