Date: August 2002
Creator: Mendelsohn, Michaela
Description: Although men are more likely to experience traumatic events, the risk of developing Posttraumatic Stress Disorder is at least twice as high in women than in men after exposure to comparable traumas. These findings are more consistent in response to some types of trauma (e.g., assaultive violence) than others (e.g., natural disaster). There has been very little systematic study of the sources of these gender differences. This study began to explore the contribution of gender-related beliefs about appropriate responses to trauma by investigating the impact of victim sex and trauma type as well as participant sex, sex-role orientation, and personal trauma history on attitudes towards victims. Ninety-three male and 179 female students were administered the Bem Sex Role Inventory, the Trauma History Questionnaire, and a vignette measure of attitudes towards victims. Participants evaluated male victims significantly less favorably than female victims, and females had more positive attitudes towards victims than males. Feminine sex-typed and androgynous women rated victims more favorably than masculine sex-typed men and women. The interaction between sex of victim and trauma type was not significant. A positive relation was observed between personal trauma exposure and attitudes towards male victims among male participants only. These findings contribute towards ...
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