Objective: Understanding variations in disease presentation in men and women is clinically important as differences may reflect biological and sociocultural factors and have implications for prevention and treatment strategies. Few empirical investigations have been performed in kleptomania, particularly with respect to gender-related influences.
Methods: From 2001–2007, 95 adult subjects (n = 27 [28.4%] males) with Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fourth Edition-defined kleptomania were assessed on sociodemographics and clinical characteristics, including symptom severity, comorbidity, and functional impairment, to identify gender-related differences.
Results: Men and women showed substantial symptom severity and functional impairment. Compared with affected men, women with kleptomania were more likely to be married (47.1% vs 25.9%; P = .039), have a later age at shoplifting onset (20.9 vs 14 years of age; P = .001), steal household items (P <.001), hoard stolen items (P =.020), and have an eating disorder (P = .017) and less likely to steal electronic goods (P < .001) and have another impulse-control disorder (P = .018).
Conclusion: Kleptomania is similarly associated with significant impairment in women and men. Gender-related differences in clinical features and co-occurring disorders suggest that prevention and treatment strategies incorporate gender considerations.