Feb. 20, 2012 — Boys won’t always “act” like boys, and girls won’t always “act” like girls. Some boys may choose dolls over tools, and some girls prefer cars, trucks, and football to Barbie dolls and princesses.
Unfortunately, kids who tend to make choices that are not considered typical for their gender are at higher risk of being abused by their parents or other family members, and are at risk for developing post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
This is the main finding of a study that will appear in the March 2012 issue of Pediatrics.
An anxiety disorder that develops after witnessing or surviving a traumatic event, such as physical or sexual abuse, PTSD symptoms may include vivid flashbacks, edginess, and sleeping problems. PTSD has been linked to risky behaviors such as unprotected sex, substance abuse, and physical symptoms such as chronic pain.