Social Psychiatry and Psychiatric Epidemiology

, Volume 40, Issue 12, pp 947–954 | Cite as

Is terror gender-blind? Gender differences in reaction to terror events

  • Zahava Solomon
  • Marc Gelkopf
  • Avraham Bleich
Original Paper



This study examines gender differences in posttraumatic vulnerability in the face of the terror attacks that occurred during the Al-Aqsa Intifada. In addition, the contribution of level of exposure, sense of safety, self-efficacy, and coping strategies is assessed.


Participants were 250 men and 262 women, who constitute a representative sample of Israel's adult population. Data were collected via a structured questionnaire consisting of 51 items that were drawn from several questionnaires widely used in the study of trauma.


The findings indicate that women endorsed posttraumatic and depressive symptoms more than men and that, generally, their odds of developing posttraumatic stress symptoms are six times higher than those of men. Results also revealed that women's sense of safety and self-efficacy are lower than men's and that there are gender differences in coping strategies in the face of terror.


Gender differences in vulnerability to terror may be attributable to a number of factors, among these are women's higher sense of threat and lower self-efficacy, as well as their tendency to use less effective coping strategies than men. Level of exposure to terror was ruled out as a possible explanation for the gender differences in vulnerability.

Key words

gender differences terrorism PTSD coping behavior epidemiology 



We would like to thank Danny Horesh for his help in preparation of the manuscript.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2005

Authors and Affiliations

  • Zahava Solomon
    • 1
    • 2
  • Marc Gelkopf
    • 3
  • Avraham Bleich
    • 4
  1. 1.Bob Shappel School of Social WorkTel Aviv UniversityTel AvivIsrael
  2. 2.Adler Research CenterTel Aviv UniversityTel AvivIsrael
  3. 3.Lev Hasharon Mental Health CenterNetanyaIsrael
  4. 4.Sackler School of Medicine and Natal: The Israel Trauma Center for Victims of TerrorTel AvivIsrael

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