Functioning and psychiatric symptoms among military men and women exposed to sexual stressors

Maureen Murdoch, John Barron Pryor, Melissa Anderson Polusny, Gary Dean Gackstetter

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

58 Scopus citations


Objective: The goal was to describe military men's and women's functioning and psychiatric symptoms according to their military sexual stressor exposure. Method: A cross-sectional survey of 204 Army soldiers and 611 other active duty troops (487 men and 327 women) was performed. Results: Forty-five percent of men and 80% of women reported at least one sexual stressor type (i.e., sexual identity challenges, sexual harassment, or sexual assault). After adjustment, subjects reporting more types of sexual stressors had poorer physical, work, role, and social functioning; more-severe post-traumatic stress disorder, depression, and anxiety symptoms; and more somatic concerns, compared with subjects reporting fewer or no sexual stressor types (all p ≤ 0.004). Interactions by gender were insignificant (all p > 0.11). Within sexual stressor category, men and women reported similar mean adjusted functioning and psychiatric symptoms. Conclusions: For both men and women, impaired functioning and more severe psychiatric symptoms were more common among those reporting more types of sexual stressors.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)718-725
Number of pages8
JournalMilitary medicine
Issue number7
StatePublished - Jul 2007


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