This paper reviews some studies done on the psychological aspects of albinism. Studies on the intellectual ability of albinos produce equivocal results. Results from personality studies seem more consistent and show albinos to be more emotionally unstable than non-albinos. This paper also reports a study by the author which examines the phenomenon of albinism from the albino’s viewpoint. It examined the responses of three undergraduate albino subjects–one female and two males–to the author’s request for each to write an essay on the merits and demerits of being an albino based on personal experiences. All consider being an albino to be more of a demerit than a merit. The demerits include conspicuous colour, delicate skin which blisters under the sun, defective sight, interpersonal, especially heterosexual, problems and society’s unkind attitude. The paper ends with a discussion of possible future research in the area and a recommendation of the need for psychological rehabilitation as part of the management programme for albinos.
Social Science & Medicine 02/1989; 29(9):1129-31. DOI:10.1016/0277-9536(89)90026-9