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Money and Sex: Dispelling the Stigma


Money and sex are two areas that many of us have enormous shame around. Unfortunately, secrecy around money and sex has perpetuated huge cultural betrayals against disadvantaged groups. I spoke with a forensic psychiatrist once about a case in which I represented a young woman who was sexually assaulted by a massage therapist. The psychiatrist explained to me that the research shows that people have the highest instances of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) in situations of war and sexual violation and it is likely because of the moral stigma we culturally place on those issues. Where people experience traumas in areas that are not morally stigmatizing, there are fewer instances of PTSD, he explained. For example, this would indicate that when a drunk driver causes a car wreck, the person injured by the drunk driver is more likely to have PTSD than a person injured in the same way by a driver who was not drunk.

The moral stigma perpetuated by