Is terror gender-blind? Gender differences in reaction to terror events
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- Solomon, Z., Gelkopf, M. & Bleich, A. Soc Psychiat Epidemiol (2005) 40: 947. doi:10.1007/s00127-005-0973-3
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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.