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U.S. Military Women Exposed to More Combat Than Ever Before

A new study found that female American soldiers in Iraq and Afghanistan have been involved in more combat than in prior wars and have the same post-traumatic stress disorder rate as men.

Researchers from the University of California San Francisco found that women are more likely to report depression symptoms, while men are more likely to have post-deployment drinking problems.

The Journal of Psychiatric Research reported that 12 percent of women and 1 percent of men reported military sexual trauma, which is shown to be strongly associated with PTSD and depression in both women and men.

These findings have important implications for the Veterans Affairs Department’s healthcare system, according to lead study author, Shira Maguen.

“If women are indeed being exposed to combat stressors at a higher rate than in prior eras, we have to be prepared to provide the services they need, and take into account the impact that these stressors can have on their mental health functioning,” she said in a university news release.

 

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