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Gender and Trauma SIG


Current research and clinical observations indicate that exposures to traumatic events vary markedly by gender and that men and women may respond differently to traumatic events. For example, risk factors for PTSD differ by gender, men and women manifest symptoms of PTSD in different ways and, most notably, women in the general population have a prevalence of PTSD that is two to three times higher than that of men. Scholarly work focusing on gender issues in trauma exposure and PTSD are essential to informing our understanding of traumatic stress responses and to providing the most effective assessments and treatments to trauma survivors. The primary goal of the ISTSS Gender and Trauma SIG is to create a dialogue among clinicians and researchers to effectively address the role of gender in trauma exposure and PTSD. A SIG within ISTSS is the ideal forum for this task because we are able to bring a multidisciplinary group of professionals together from disparate service settings (e.g. Veterans Hospitals, Rape Treatment Centers) and disparate populations of interest that represent expertise with both men and women. In addition, individuals working in this area are able to disseminate the results and observations to a receptive audience with relevant application for this work.  The SIG also sponsors and supports gender-related research submissions to the annual ISTSS conference program.


Yael Nillni, PhD
National Center for PTSD, Women's Health Science Division
VA Boston Healthcare System
Assistant Professor
Department of Psychiatry, Boston University School of Medicine

Suzannah Creech, PhD
VA VISN 17 Center of Excellence for Research on Returning War Veterans/Brown

Student Co-Chairs

Hannah Cole
University of Tulsa

Marina Weiss
Adelphi University

Gender and Trauma SIG Listserv Address

Members of the Gender and Trauma SIG can use the SIG listserv to share information with the full SIG.

Additional Links

Gender and PTSD Edited by Rachel Kimerling, Paige Ouimette, and Jessica Wolfe (2002).

Women Watch: Information and Resources on Gender Equality and Empowerment of Women: United Nations website that contains information about the status of women in the international arena, with links to information regarding levels and types of violence against women.

Women, Trauma and PTSD: National Center for PTSD: This article reviews research on women's experiences of trauma and posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), with a focus on gender-based similarities and differences.

American Medical Women's Association: This searchable website that can be used by both clinicians and the general community offers links to publications, resources, and programs.

U.S. Department of Justice, Office on Violence Against Women: The Office on Violence Against Women works with various offices and jurisdictions to ensure the implementation of the Violence Against Women Act and subsequent legislation. This site also contains links to publications, as well as information on obtaining grants for studies relating to violence against women.

Women's Treatment Program, McLean Hospital: Information about women ? specific treatment program for trauma ? related issues.

Center for Women Veterans, Department of Veteran Affairs: Health care information for women veterans, including information about the Women Veterans Health Program (including military sexual assault).

Rape, Abuse, Incest, National Network (RAINN): This comprehensive website comprises facts and resources related to sexual assault.

PTSD Research Quarterly: This newsletter is produced by the National Center for PTSD, Department of Veterans Affairs. This comprehensive website comprises state by state legal information and resources for domestic violence.

Rape of Women in the War Zone: National Center for PSTD: This fact sheet provides information on the history, consequences, and treatment of sexual violence experienced by women in times of war.

A New Generation of Women Veterans: Stressors Faced by Women Deployed to Iraq and Afghanistan: This article highlights emerging issues in the development of PTSD in women deployed to Iraq and Afghanistan, including gender specific-experiences and unique effects on mental health.