…some epidemiological surveys involving a broad range of traumatic exposures have shown that the twofold greater risk for PTSD in women cannot be accounted for by greater exposure to trauma, even when accounting for prior history of victimization or abuse.
This finding suggests that women are more vulnerable to PTSD than men. The sex difference seems to be consistent across many trauma types. Genetic studies have suggested higher heritability risk in women, and molecular genetic studies confirmed allelic variation in the adenylate cyclase activating polypeptide 1 (pituitary) receptor type I (ADCYAP1R1) gene in relation to PTSD risk in women. In reality, the greater prevalence of PTSD in women might reflect a combination of greater exposure and vulnerability. A prospective epidemiological study of PTSD risk in abused and neglected children showed that the higher level of revictimization in female victims than in male victims explained a substantial proportion (39%) of the sex differences in PTSD risk. However, a significant sex difference remained after adjusting for greater exposure in women. More research is clearly needed.