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Gender Rates and PTSD Essay

Related Topics: War Trauma Women Gender

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Document Type:Essay


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ESSAY Question: Why is it that we associate PTSD to war veterans first and foremost? In fact, if we look at the numbers of those served in the armed forces and the gender distribution we will see that the numbers are contradictory. Why is it that we have more men who experienced war trauma, yet we have more women diagnosed with this disorder? Women (10.4%) are twice as likely as men (5%) to experience PTSD at some point in their lives, what do you think are the contributing factors ? Support your views with complimentary internet research.

PTSD first became widely known as a possible diagnosis in the wake of the Vietnam War, but the condition (as its name suggests) is specific to trauma, not to wartime trauma alone. In fact, sexual abuse is one of the most common reasons people experience PTSD. The fact that women experience sexual assault and domestic abuse at a higher rate than do men may be one of the primary reasons that women have a higher diagnosis rate of PTSD than men (Greenberg, 2018). There is also some evidence that women are more physically vulnerable to the symptoms of PTSD due to greater activity in the right amygdala, right rostral anterior cingulate cortex (ACC) and dorsal ACC, all of which are associated with a more sensitive response to stressors (Greenberg, 2018). Women also report higher rates of depression and anxiety than men, conditions which are frequently comorbid with PTSD (Greenberg, 2018).

Finally, the fact that women are often more apt to seek out outside help for psychological conditions in general may make them more apt to be diagnosed with PTSD. Women historically have sought out psychological assistance in the form of therapy, while men (particularly if they are still active in the service and worry that a negative evaluation may affect their promotion prospects) are more apt to ignore psychological symptoms, and view them as weak and unmanly (Greenberg, 2018). Men may also manifest symptoms in a more culturally acceptable manner for a man, in the form of anger, which may make them less apt to receive a diagnosis. It is important to remember that a higher rate of diagnosis of one gender versus the other gender does not necessarily reflect the number of individuals who do or do not have the condition.


Greenberg, M. (2018). Why women have higher rates of PTSD than men. Psychology…

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