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J Trauma Stress. 2004 Apr;17(2):103-11.

Social attitudes toward traumatized men and women: a vignette study.

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Department of Psychiatry, The Cambridge Hospital/Harvard Medical School, Cambridge, Massachusetts 02143, USA.


This study investigated social beliefs about gender-appropriate reactions to trauma. Ninety-three men and 179 women completed vignette measures of attitudes toward victims, the Bem Sex Role Inventory, and the Trauma History Questionnaire. Participants evaluated male victims less favorably than female victims. Women responded more positively toward all victims than men. Participants regarded female crime victims more positively than their male counterparts, but did not distinguish between male and female natural disaster victims. Feminine-sex-typed women rated victims more favorably than masculine-sex-typed individuals. There was a positive relation between personal trauma exposure and attitudes toward male victims among male participants. These findings contribute to an understanding of factors influencing the social reactions experienced by traumatized men and women, and have implications for clinical practice and psychoeducation.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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