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Caligynephobia is a fear of beautiful women. It comes from the Ancient Greek words kalli, meaning beautiful, gune, meaning female, and phobos, meaning fear.
Caligynephobia is sometimes called venustraphobia. It also sometimes called simply gynephobia, however this isn’t quite accurate as caligynephobes only fear beautiful women. They may feel perfectly comfortable around less attractive women. As such, caligynephobia is more accurately described as a specific type of gynephobia.
Caligynephobia can be triggered by failed relationships, abuse, or rejection. Someone might develop caligynephobia because they have low self-esteem and fear they’ll be rejected by beautiful women. In some cases, the condition has no evident root cause at all.
Having caligynephobia shouldn’t be confused with simply feeling intimidated or uncomfortable around beautiful women, as many people do. True caligynephobes have a much more extreme reaction which sits outside society’s norms.
Symptoms of caligynephobia vary from person to person, but might include feelings overwhelmed, anxious, weak, and dizzy when around beautiful women. Caligynephobes may struggle to breath, feel tight in the chest, or faint around beautiful women. The symptoms of caligynephobia may be similar to a panic attack. They might come on when someone is around a beautiful woman physically, but may even occur when seeing a beautiful woman on TV or in a magazine, for example. In some extreme cases, caligynephobes may experience these symptoms at the thought of a beautiful woman.
Caligynephobia can cause serious social problems if sufferers struggle to talk to beautiful woman or restrict their activities to avoid beautiful women. It can negatively impact their personal relationships and even their professional lives if they work with beautiful women. Therapy may be useful for helping caligynephobes deal with their condition and function normally in society.