How trauma is different for men and women?

Travis Knowlton LCSW
3 min readNov 30, 2021
Tim Mossholder- Unsplash

Women have a two to three times higher chance of being diagnosed with Post Traumatic Stress disorder.

It is important to note that Trauma is not a thing, an action, or a situation/experience you have or witnessed. Trauma is a biological reaction in the body. A reaction that happens when the body and mind cannot process any more information and that overload sends you in to your stress response.

Men are more likely to witness certain types of trauma associated with physical violence such as war, fights, and other acts of violence with other men.

Women experience trauma as well but in a majority of the cases are sexual assault in nature.

For men and women, the same regions of the brain are impacted. if that's true then, what’s the difference?

Societal influence

Society influences gender in major ways.

Depicting how women dress and present themselves presents a unique problem when there is a trauma history. Being that women face sexual trauma more frequently than men, the ability to read interpret, and act accordingly to social red flags leaves women in unknowingly dangerous situations at times. This is because sexual trauma impacts one’s body in so many ways. The abuse to the body might have been pleasurable, but the brain knows that it is morally wrong. so what the hell is a woman to do with mixed signals from the brain and the body? The brain and body are supposed to be working together, but they are operating on different pages!

This disconnect creates a state of confusion. Not knowing if a person is joking, flirting, or being inappropriate.

With some of the women I work with, it is not uncommon for them to report an interaction of the physical nature that goes from talking to intimate and not registering where they are in the process until they are further along than planned.

Emotionally expressive behavior associated with female trauma can be generally categorized as overly extroverted behavior or reclusive

Societies impact on men is directed towards emotions. western society teaches men that expressing emotions is not ok, it is a sign of weakness. crying or discussing shame, sadness…

--

--

Travis Knowlton LCSW

I'm a husband, father, veteran, and licensed clinical social worker that is here to enjoy and share!