Biological issues

The increasing evidence that typical hysterical traits, such as emotional expressiveness, extraversion, and reward dependence, are constitutional suggests that there might be an inherited predisposition for the development of this disorder. In his twin study, Torgersen (77) found that the hysterical dimension is genetically influenced among women but not among men. Similar findings have been reported in a family study of somatization disorder, which is historically related to histrionic personality.^ Some studies suggest that histrionic personality runs in families, but more research is needed in order to establish whether it has a biological or developmental cause.

Cadoret(73> postulated an interesting hypothesis, based on an adoption study, in which hysteria is assumed to be part of the antisocial spectrum, i.e. a different phenotypic manifestation of the antisocial personality genotype.

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