Professor of Gender and War. University of Sydney

Stop Saying Women Are More Prone to PTSD- it isn’t true

SUMMARY: A recent publication in the Journal of Psychiatric Research offers insight into the long-term mental health effects of military service for women and men. With over 2.7 million American veterans of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars affected by PTSD, examining the disorder is essential for re-integration and support mechanisms for veterans. A study examines 2300 pairs of men and women deployed to Iraq and Afghanistan over seen years and found that 6.7% of women and 6.1% of men developed PTSD. This difference is apparently not “statistically significant.” This study debunks previous studies that allege that military women face a greater risk of PTSD, which generally has sampled data from the entire military population and not just combatants. This study also only focused on men and women with “no previous indications of PTSD,” hence the lower rate. The study author, Shira Maguen says “(Our study) bodes very well for women not only in leadership but also women in lower ranks… women have been doing this for many years now. What we should be focusing on is abilities and readiness.”

SOURCE: Robert Gebelhoff, August 21 2015, ‘Military women are at the same risk of PTSFD as men, study finds,’ The Washington Post,

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