Sample Essay on Culture


A female staying bare-breasted in public in the U.S. could be deemed behaving abnormally. Nevertheless, in some cultures in Africa, toplessness for females is taken to be a normal behavior (Naidu, 2009). The American culture and other cultures require every female to cover her body below the neck while in public. In such cultures, exposing the breasts is believed to be a taboo. Modern Western cultures regard the exposure of breasts as immodest and may at times be prosecuted as indecency, lewdness, and antisocial behavior. The evaluation and diagnosis of psychological disorders among minority patients have been found to be more intricate when judged against their nonminority counterparts, particularly in cases where patients hail from dissimilar ethnic and cultural settings from those of clinicians. Clinicians ought to embrace culturally competent attitudes, proficiencies, and knowledge to enhance the accuracy of diagnosis.


Toplessness is an example of an action that may be considered normal in a given culture but abnormal in another. Views toward bare-breasted women differ noticeably across cultures. Staying with no clothe above the waist for both men and women was considered a normal conduct in traditional African, Australian, North American, and Pacific Island cultures up to the time that the Christian missionaries arrived. It was as well deemed normal in several Asian cultures prior to Muslim spreading out in the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries. Nonetheless, this behavior continues to be acceptable and common in numerous indigenous cultures in the contemporary times (Naidu, 2009). Amid the Hamar females of Ethiopia and the Himba females of Namibia, in addition to other traditional cultures in Africa, toplessness is seen as a social norm. In such cultures, the exposure of breasts may as well be employed as a significant aspect of cultural celebration; for instance, during Reed Dance festival, mature females from 16 to 20 years old dance bare-breasted before the Zulu king.

In the majority of modern Western societies, women are culturally prohibited from remaining topless in public. In these cultures, the moment females become adolescents; they are obligated to behave in a modest manner through such behaviors as covering their breasts in the presence of others. Until of late, females who stayed bare-breasted were considered immoral and unbecoming. Though it is not females or the laws that explicitly deem the exposure of breasts an abnormal behavior, women in the western cultures are hesitant of going contrary to the social norm of covering their breasts in public. A number of cultures have started expanding social restrictions of toplessness to girls at their prepubertal and infancy ages. Toplessness amid females is particularly considered an abnormal behavior in the Middle East, U.S., and Eastern Asia (Naidu, 2009).

Cultural Factors

The consideration of cultural aspects by clinicians is fundamental in the course of interviewing, case formulation, diagnosing, and treating culturally diverse patients with psychological disorders. Such practices may result in numerous concerns that clinicians are required to tackle in the formulation of perfect diagnosis and treatment approaches. For effectiveness, clinicians ought to have an adequate understanding of the culture of the patient, and the application of a cultural consultant might be suitable to prevent prejudices and misdiagnosis irrespective of the clinician and the patient being from a similar race and culture. Additionally, clinicians ought to be knowledgeable of their cultural identity, sentiments, and convictions towards racial minorities since they may influence their affiliation with patients (Kohrt et al., 2014). Clinicians require enhancing their proficiencies since traditional techniques of interviewing might not be successful and psychological assessments might be insufficient or unbefitting. Clinicians ought to employ interpreters or carry out family interviews, and psychological evaluation might necessitate alteration.

Clinicians from dissimilar cultures mull over symptoms of psychological problems, encompassing manic disorder and depression differently (Kohrt et al., 2014). For instance, Indian clinicians rate fury and hostile conduct higher than their U.S. counterparts in the diagnosis of acute manic disorders. Such conclusions underscore the reality that cultural factors may influence diagnosis and have insinuations for studies of universal mental health. The comprehension of the manner in which clinicians from different cultures across the globe diagnose psychological disorders is a significant stride in becoming a proficient psychiatrist. The discipline of mental health around the world is developing and forming a huge proportion of psychiatry training programs where cultural competence is crucial for accurate diagnosis.


The appraisal and diagnosis of psychological problems amid minority patients have been found to be more difficult when judged against their nonminority counterparts, mainly in cases where patients hail from divergent racial and cultural settings from those of clinicians. Being toplessness is an instance of an action that may be deemed normal in a given culture, but atypical in another as perceptions toward bare-breasted women differ evidently across cultures. The deliberation of cultural aspects by clinicians is elemental in the course of interviewing, diagnosing, and tackling culturally diverse patients with psychological problems. For success, clinicians ought to have ample understanding of the culture of the patient, and the application of a cultural professional might be suitable to avert unfairness and misdiagnosis.




Kohrt, B. A., Rasmussen, A., Kaiser, B. N., Haroz, E. E., Maharjan, S. M., Mutamba, B. B., & Hinton, D. E. (2014). Cultural concepts of distress and psychiatric disorders: Literature review and research recommendations for global mental health epidemiology. International Journal of Epidemiology, 43(2), 365-406.

Naidu, M. (2009). ‘Topless’ tradition for tourists: Young Zulu girls in tourism. Agenda, 23(79), 38-48.