Gartner, C., Bickl, A., Härtl, S., Loy, J. K., Häffner, L.

Differences in problem and pathological gambling: A narrative review considering sex and gender


Journal of Behavioral Addictions. doi: 10.1556/2006.2022.00019

Der Volltext ist auf der Webseite der Zeitschrift zu finden (Open Access):

Background and aim A wide range of studies indicates that men and women with Problem (PrG) and Pathological Gambling (PG) differ in several clinical and sociodemographic characteristics. However, evidence for sex differences, such as the telescoping effect, is contradictory, and it is still unclear whether sex differences observed in offline gambling can also be found for online gambling. Furthermore, reviews have so far focused on binary sex differences but neglect gender aspects. In this study, an updated literature survey of sex- and gender-related differences in PrG and PG was conducted.

Methods We searched PsyInfo, Medline/Pubmed, and the Web of Science databases from 2005 to 2020 for studies investigating sex and gender differences in gambling. A total of 126 papers were included in the literature survey.

Results We are presenting our findings according to the categories ‘prevalence’ (offline, online, LGBTQI*), ‘sociodemographic factors’, ‘preferred gambling type’, ‘gambling motives’, ‘severity’, ‘progression of gambling problems’, ‘use of professional help/motivation for treatment’, ‘comorbidity’, ‘trauma’, ‘violence and criminality/delinquency’. The studies indicate that, despite some robust sex differences (e.g., concerning prevalence rates), results for most areas were mixed or suggest no sex differences (e.g., violence, gambling motives).

Discussion and conclusion To date, there is a lack of studies assessing gender, and not only sex, warranting further research in this area.


IFT Institut für Therapieforschung
Leopoldstraße 175
80804 München

Tel. +49 89 360804-0
Fax +49 89 360804-19