Differences Between Men and Women in Their Experience of Psychological Trauma and How Men React to Traumatic Events Such as Romance Scams
Psychological trauma is a common experience, affecting an estimated 60% of people at some point in their lives. It can be caused by a wide range of events, including natural disasters, accidents, violence, abuse, and importantly crime.
Men and Women Experience Psychological Trauma in Different Ways
Women are more likely to report experiencing trauma, and they are also more likely to develop post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and other mental health problems as a result of trauma. Or so the mental healthcare community reports, but is this really true?
SCARS experience is that for every 100 women that report symptoms of PTSD, less than 5 men will, This can easily lead to the skewed perspective that men do not experience PTSD as much as women victims of crimes.
Some of the Reasons for these Differences include:
- Biology: Women have different brain chemistry than men, which may make them more susceptible to the effects of trauma (according to literature.)
- Socialization: Women are often socialized to be more expressive and to seek help when they are in distress. Men, on the other hand, are often socialized to be stoic and to avoid showing weakness. This can make it more difficult for men to cope with trauma and to seek help when they need it.
- Exposure to trauma: Women are more likely to be exposed to certain types of trauma, such as sexual assault and domestic violence. These types of trauma can be particularly damaging to women’s mental health. However, this may also be untrue and a bias about men and women based on their willingness to report the symptoms of trauma.
How Men React to Traumatic Events such as Romance Scams
Romance scams are a type of online fraud in which scammers create fake online profiles and pose as potential romantic partners. They then build a relationship with the victim and eventually ask for money or personal information.
Romance scams can be particularly devastating for victims, both emotionally and financially. Victims of romance scams often experience a range of negative emotions, such as shame, guilt, and embarrassment. They typically experience financial losses, as they have sent the scammer money or given them access to their bank accounts.
Men react to romance scams in a variety of ways, and many are quite different than women.
Some men may feel embarrassed or ashamed that they have been scammed. They may be reluctant to tell anyone about the scam, even friends or family members. This can make it difficult for them to get the support they need to recover from the scam.
Men also have the additional embarrassment that in most cases the intimate relationship they thought they were having with a women, as actually a team of male criminals.
Other men become angry or aggressive after being scammed. They may blame themselves for the scam or they may lash out at the scammer or other people in their lives, including those attempting to help them. This can lead to relationship problems and other negative consequences.
Still, other men may try to suppress their emotions after being scammed. They may try to act as if nothing happened or they may avoid thinking about the scam. This can lead to long-term problems, such as PTSD and depression.
How to Help Men Who Have Been Scammed
If you are or know a man who has been scammed, it is important to offer support. Let him know that it is not his fault that he was scammed and that he is not alone. Encourage him to talk about what happened and to seek help from a professional if needed.
For example, SCARS now offers dedicated support groups just for men and their unique needs. Men can sign up at support.AgainstScams.org
Here are some specific things you can do to help a man who has been scammed:
- Listen to him without judgment. Let him know that you are there for him and that you care about him.
- Help him to understand that it is not his fault. Scammers are very good at manipulating people, and anyone can be scammed.
- Encourage him to seek help from a professional. A therapist can help him to process his emotions and to cope with the trauma of being scammed.
- Help him to develop safety plans. If he is still in contact with the scammer, help him to develop a plan for how to stay safe.
- Be patient and supportive. It takes time to recover from being scammed. Be there for him and offer him your support as he heals.
If you are a man who has been scammed, please know that you are not alone.
SCARS is here to help you. Please reach out to a friend, family member, counselor or therapist, and SCARS for support.