This study tested the hypothesis that schizophrenic women experience a
less severe course of illness than schizophrenic men. Ninety patients with
DSM-III diagnoses of schizophrenia, who were in the early stages of
illness, were followed for 10 years with respect to rehospitalizations and
length of time in the hospital. Multivariate regression techniques were
used to test for gender differences across multiple outcomes. The women
experienced fewer rehospitalizations and shorter stays than did the men.
These findings were not an artifact of diagnosis. The results suggest that
the determinants of gender differences occur during the premorbid period
and are manifest early in the development of the disorder.