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Everyday Sexism and Posttraumatic Stress Disorder in Women: A Correlational Study

NCJ Number
Violence Against Women Volume: 12 Issue: 10 Dated: October 2006 Pages: 970-988
Susan H. Berg
Date Published
October 2006
19 pages
This study examined the relationship between nonviolent, everyday sexism and the development of trauma symptoms in women.
Results revealed a moderately strong relationship between everyday sexism and posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) symptoms in women. Specifically, when all variables were considered, the variable with the most predictive power for trauma was recent sexist degradation. The findings suggest that the DSM diagnosis of PTSD should be expanded to include discrimination and oppression directed against target groups. The findings also indicate the need to study hidden oppressive conditions in society, such as racism and ageism, as potentially traumatic forces. Participants were 382 women who completed a series of survey measures on gender-based stressors, PTSD, and demographic information. Participants were recruited through women’s organizations, meetings, and classes on Long Island, NY between September 1999 and January 2000. Data analysis involved the calculations of frequency distributions, one-tailed bivariate Pearson’s correlations, and two-tailed partial correlations. Future studies on the relationship between sexism and PTSD should include greater ethnic diversity. Tables, appendixes, references


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