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NCJ Number: 206730 Find in a Library
Title: Childhood Sexual Abuse: A Gender Perspective on Context and Consequences
Journal: Child Maltreatment  Volume:9  Issue:3  Dated:August 2004  Pages:223-238
Author(s): Victoria L. Banyard; Linda M. Williams; Jane A. Siegel
Date Published: August 2004
Page Count: 16
Sponsoring Agency: National Ctr on Child Abuse and Neglect
McLean, VA 22102
Grant Number: 90-CA-1406;90-CA-1552;90-CA-1495
Type: Report (Study/Research)
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This study examined gender differences in mental health outcomes and correlates among adult male and female survivors of childhood sexual abuse.
Abstract: While research concerning the prevalence and short- and long-term consequences of childhood sexual abuse has burgeoned over the past decade, most of it has been centered on female victims. Relatively little is known about the consequences of childhood sexual abuse for male victims. The current study addressed this gap in the literature by comparing male and female survivors of childhood sexual abuse in terms of their mental health outcomes, their formal help-seeking behavior, and other background factors of abuse survivors. The study additionally examined the relationship between childhood sexual abuse and psychological symptoms within a sample of male victims and nonvictims. The authors hypothesized that male and female survivors would appear similar on many contextual variables. It was also hypothesized that females would have higher overall rates of psychological distress symptoms, but that the males would show higher levels of distress when compared to nonvictim males. Participants were 128 female survivors of childhood sexual abuse and 69 male survivors drawn from a 1970’s sample of victims from a large city hospital. The male comparison sample included 106 nonabused males. Hospital and interview records were examined; measures included sexual abuse, family-of-origin environment, additional traumas, and mental health symptoms. Results of statistical analyses indicated that overall, men and women were similar in the context and consequences of childhood sexual abuse. Gender similarity was also discovered in the formal help-seeking behavior of the current sample. Female survivors reported higher levels of a variety of symptoms, including anxiety and depression. Higher levels of an array of mental health symptoms were noted in the male survivor sample when compared to the male nonvictims; these negative mental health outcomes were explained by the number of incidents of sexual abuse, injury at the hands of a caregiver, and exposure to other traumas. Limitations of the research include its small, convenience sample. The findings have implications for treatment design. Tables, references
Main Term(s): Child Sexual Abuse
Index Term(s): Gender issues; Mental health; Sexual assault victims
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