Childhood sexual abuse impacts sexuality development - July 10, 2003

Childhood sexual abuse impacts sexuality development.

"The sexual attitudes and activities of 77 sexually abused and 89 comparison women (mean age = 20.41, SD = 3.38) were assessed 10 years after disclosure in a longitudinal, prospective study of the long-term effects of childhood sexual abuse," scientists in the United States reported.

"Abused participants were more preoccupied with sex, younger at first voluntary intercourse, more likely to have been teen mothers, and endorsed lower birth control efficacy than comparison participants," wrote J.G. Noll and colleagues, University of Southern California, School of Social Work.

"When psychological functioning earlier in development was examined, sexual preoccupation was predicted by anxiety, sexual aversion was predicted by childhood sexual behavior problems. and sexual ambivalence (simultaneous sexual preoccupation and sexual aversion) was predicted by pathological dissociation."

"Findings also indicate that biological father abuse may be associated with greater sexual aversion and sexual ambivalence."

Noll and colleagues published their study in Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology (A prospective investigation of the impact of childhood sexual abuse on the development of sexuality. J Consult Clin Psychol, 2003;71(3):575-586).

For additional information, contact J.G. Noll, University of Southern California, School of Social Work, MRF Hall, Room 313, Los Angeles, CA 90089, USA.

The publisher's contact information for the Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology is: American Psychological Association, 750 First St. NE, Washington, DC 20002-4242, USA.

The information in this article comes under the major subject areas of Pediatrics, Violence, and Women's Health. This article was prepared by Health & Medicine Week editors from staff and other reports.

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Last updated: 07/12/2003 - 06:53 AM