Why are women more likely to develop PTSD than men?
Women are more than two and a half times as likely to develop PTSD than men: 10% for women vs. 4% for men. And there are a number of reasons women experience PTSD more frequently than men:
Women are more likely to experience sexual assault than men,
Being the victim of sexual assault is more likely to cause PTSD than many other traumatic events, and
Women may be more likely to blame themselves for a range of traumatic experiences than are men.

Why is sexual assault more likely to lead to PTSD than other traumatic events?
Sexual assault often causes high levels of PTSD because it is an extremely traumatic experience that can result in profound and long lasting psychological effects. The violation of personal boundaries is highly significant. Sexual assault involves a profound violation of a person’s physical and emotional boundaries, leading to feelings of pain, helplessness and loss of control. Victims of sexual assault often also experience intense fear for their safety, since the assault often involves the threat of severe harm or even death.

Is it accurate that women are more likely to seek treatment for PTSD than men, and why might that be the case?
Recent a studies have shown that, on average, women are more likely than men to seek emotional help or therapy for trauma such as PTSD. This gender difference is likely influenced by various social, cultural, and societal factors. For example, men are more often encouraged to be self-reliant and stoic, which can lead to them being less likely to seek emotional support. However, it’s important to note that individual experiences can vary, and not all women seek help, nor do all men avoid it. Regardless, encouraging open conversations about mental health is essential to reducing the stigma and promoting help-seeking behavior.

How can someone best support a female veteran with PTSD (including loved ones)?
One of the best ways to help a female veteran who might be suffering from PTSD is to consider raising the issue with them in a gentle and understanding manner. People who are struggling with emotional challenges and victims of assault often feel very alone and can use as much support as possible.

If a female veteran has PTSD or thinks they may have it, what is the main thing you want them to know?
It’s crucial for female veterans to understand that PTSD is a dangerous condition, but that it’s also treatable. The most important thing is that they recognize if they might be suffering from it and speak with their doctor or other healthcare professional.

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