Gender, Stress, and Coping in the U.S. Military: Volume 3 Performance   [open pdf - 12MB]

"Military leaders have long recognized that mission readiness requires both the absence of disease and the presence of mental, physical, and spiritual health. However, little is presently known about the health of military women, particularly as it may be uniquely affected by trauma and war. Such knowledge is essential to meeting the health needs of military women for all mission contingencies. These missions include: peacekeeping and peacemaking activities (e.g., the Sinai MFO Treaty, Somalia); humanitarian aid (care of civilian refugees following the Persian Gulf War; natural and human-made disasters including assistance in Hurricane Andrew, the Los Angeles riots, threats of chemical terrorist attack, and the Oklahoma City bombing); and potential combat. As the number of active duty women increases (approximately 10% in 1995), women are assuming critical positions of responsibility which fully expose them to the hazards of combat and war. The systematic study of the effects of trauma on women's health is important for women in all branches of service. There is a close interplay between performance, health and psychosocial factors in responding to trauma, disaster, and combat. Understanding the gender-specific responses associated with traumatic stress is important for the development of command policy, training scenarios, and medical care procedures. However, little is presently known about how the health of military women may be uniquely affected by trauma and war."

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