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Sociedade e Estado

Print version ISSN 0102-6992On-line version ISSN 1980-5462


SOARES, Gláucio Ary Dillon  and  MIRANDA, Dayse. Gender and trauma. Soc. estado. [online]. 2005, vol.20, n.1, pp.135-162. ISSN 1980-5462.

The social and psychological consequences endured by friends and relatives of people victimized by violent death (homicide, suicide or accidents) are analyzed on the light of gender differences. Current literature suggests that women and men face traumatic experiences in different ways. However, traumas also vary by gender, raising questions about how much of the differences are due to gender or to the type of trauma. We hypothesized that women are more susceptible than men to post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) when the traumatic event is common. We compared the trauma symptoms and the meaning of the loss of loved ones. A sample of 425 women (62%) and 265 men (38%) was drawn from a list of people that suffered violent deaths in the city of Rio de Janeiro and were interviewed in 2003-4. Fifty-four percent of the women and 41% of the men had their daily routines altered after the death of a relative/friend. There are statistically significant differences concerning health problems and entertainment practices. Half of the interviewees seriously reduced leisure. The contact with the corpse is intimately correlated with the PTSD symptoms. Controlling the extension of the contact (corpse recognition; seeing it, but not recognizing it and not seeing it and not recognizing it), women were more affected than men. The article concludes that women feel the losses more deeply than men, but part of these differences are not "intrinsic" to genders, but depend on social capital, on institutional contacts and personal interactions.

Keywords : urban violence; indirect victim; pos-traumatic; stress disorder; PTSD.

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