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Comment & Response
February 2019

Women and Children First: Promoting Empowerment Through Resistance Education

Author Affiliations
  • 1Department of Family and Community Health, Joan C. Edwards School of Medicine, Marshall University, Huntington, West Virginia
JAMA Intern Med. 2019;179(2):277-278. doi:10.1001/jamainternmed.2018.7837

To the Editor Over the years, several researchers have examined the sequelae of unwanted sexual encounters resulting from the harmful perception that women and children are “weaker” individuals compared with men and adults. Given this, and although the efforts by Thurston and colleagues1 to promote women’s health are indeed commendable, we believe the influences of power and trauma should be extrapolated to include children as well. The terms sexual harassment and sexual assault are often applied to adult-dominated settings (ie, the workplace or higher education), and thus inherently overlook traumatic events, such as sexual abuse, endured by children. As a result, when considering Thurston and colleagues’ findings regarding women’s health, one should also incorporate the conclusions by Felitti and colleagues2 regarding children’s health to better understand the associations between power, trauma, and well-being.

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