Thursday, March 28, 2013

More Data on the Relationship Between Child Sexual Abuse & Adult Sexual Orientation

Eskin MKaynak-Demir HDemir S., "Same-sex sexual orientation, childhood sexual abuse, and suicidal behavior in university students in Turkey," Archives of Sexual Behavior 2005 Apr;34(2):185-95

Self-reported childhood sexual abuse was associated with same-sex sexual behavior.... Being sexually abused by someone of one's own sex was related to same-sex sexual orientation in male participants but not in female participants. Childhood sexual abuse was found to be an independent predictor of both suicidal ideation and attempts during the past 12 months. Only identifying oneself as homosexual or bisexual was associated with an increased risk for suicidal ideation during the past 12 months. 
Here's a paper that rather studiously avoids answering the obvious question until nearly the end: Helen A. Smith, Ph.D.,corresponding author1 Nina Markovic, Ph.D.,1 Michelle E. Danielson, Ph.D.,1 Alicia Matthews, Ph.D.,2 Ada Youk, Ph.D.,1 Evelyn O. Talbott, Dr.Ph.,1 Cynthia Larkby, Ph.D.,3 and Tonda Hughes, Ph.D.2, "Sexual Abuse, Sexual Orientation, and Obesity in Women," J Womens Health (Larchmt). 2010 August; 19(8): 1525–1532

Among adult women an association between childhood sexual abuse (CSA) and obesity has been observed. Research with lesbian women has consistently identified high rates of obesity as well as frequent reports of CSA, but associations between sexual abuse and obesity have not been fully explored.
The obvious question: does CSA have some connection to sexual orientation?  
Compared with heterosexuals, significantly more lesbians were in a committed relationship (74.1% vs. 66.8%, p = 0.012), and had a previous mental health diagnosis (51.7% vs. 38.6%, p = 0.0001). Also lesbians had completed significantly more years of education than heterosexuals (p = 0.022). Although heterosexuals had a higher rate of being overweight (32.4% vs. 26.7%), lesbians had a significantly higher rate of obesity (40.2% and 30.4%, p = 0.003). Lesbians also reported higher rates of SA compared with heterosexual women: lifetime SA (58.8% vs. 39.7%, p < 0.0001), intrafamilial CSA (29.6% vs. 16.2%, p < 0.0001), extrafamilial CSA (30.7% vs. 14.3%, p < 0.0001), and ASA (40.1% and 27.3%, p = 0.0001).
Almost twice the rate of intrafamilial CSA, and more than twice the rate of extrafamilial CSA.  Yet another reason that child sexual abuse needs to be treated as the very serious matter that it is.

An interesting review of existing studies of CSA of boys published by JAMA includes this assertion:
Studies of children and young adolescents reported that more than 90% of perpetrators were male.[38,46,82,121,143,151,154] Studies of older adolescents and young adults reported lower rates of male perpetrator abuse (22% to 73%), and rates of female perpetrator abuse from 27% to 78%.[53,84,106,140,159] Studies of adult samples reported intermediate male perpetrator rates of 63% to 90%.[24,72- 73,77,113- 114,132] These findings may suggest that males revise their perceptions as they age such that abusive sexual experiences with females become defined, retrospectively, as normative rather than abusive.
And yet the same would appear to be true of abusive sexual experiences with males -- which may explain why I have sometimes had conversations with gay men who were absolutely insistent that their first sexual experiences with much older men were not abusive -- but they were the aggressors.  (One said that he was 13 when he insisted that he seduced a man in his 30s who was the pool maintenance guy.)

One of the interesting aspects of the story that no one wants to examine is that there is a very strong association between CSA and later problems that are also commonly associated with growing up in a "homophobic" society, including suicide attempts and substance abuse.  Even though some of the CSA victims reported experiencing pleasure from it:

Studies of actual clinical outcomes (rather than perceptions), however, indicated that sexually abused males were at increased risk for negative clinical sequelae. These sequelae included increased rates of posttraumatic stress disorder, major depression, anxiety disorders, borderline personality disorder, antisocial personality disorder, paranoia, dissociation, somatization, bulimia, anger, aggressive behavior, poor self-image, poor school performance, running away from home, and legal trouble....  The rates among sexually abused compared with nonabused males were 4-fold for major depression (P<.001); 3-fold for bulimia (P<.05); and at least 2-fold for antisocial personality disorder (P = .002), behavior problems (P = .03), low self-image (P = .04), runaway behavior (P<.001), and legal problems (P = .001)....  Rates of posttraumatic stress disorder and major depression among victims were 25% to 30% and 65%, respectively....   Paris et al116 noted that sexual abuse was a significant, independent risk factor for the development of borderline personality disorder.
The rate of attempted suicide was 1.5 to 14 times higher among sexually abused compared with nonabused males....
Substance abuse problems are again something that is common to both CSA victims and homosexuals:
A strong association between sexual abuse and subsequent substance use also was reported. Harrison et al63 found that sexually abused boys compared with nonabused boys in an inpatient chemical addiction center were more likely to report use of alcohol before age 10 years, marijuana use before age 12 years, and current drug use. Nagy et al110 noted that sexually abused compared with nonabused high school boys were 2 times more likely to use alcohol currently and 5 times more likely to use drugs currently (P<.05).
Similarly, this paragraph should make people ask questions about overlap:
Sexually abused males compared with nonabused males were up to 5 times more likely to report sexually related problems (including sexual dysfunction).63,71,73,83- 84,132,147 Abused males indicated greater difficulty controlling sexual feelings, were hypersexual, and were more likely to perpetrate coercive sexual acts against others.10,22,49,55,68,75,81,91,100,129,140,143,153 Those abused at an early age and the chronically abused were more likely to exhibit these behavior problems.100 Lodico et al95 reported that sexually abused males compared with nonabused males were 4.4 times more likely (95% confidence interval, 2.6-7.4) to have forced someone into sexual contact, and other studies reported that these forced acts typically were with boys.159,167 Becker et al9 measured the erectile responses of abused and nonabused men while they listened to descriptions of coercive and noncoercive sexual activities with children of both sexes. Abused men responded more to descriptions involving boys, while there was no difference in the responses to descriptions involving girls.

1 comment:

Anthony said...

A few years ago, I found a study of over 5000 convicted child molesters which had data on their sexuality. As I recall it, not quite 10% of the sample were female. Of the males, approximately 75% were attracted to adult women, 8% to adult women and men, 8% to adult men, and 8% *only* to prepubescent children.

This tells me that male homosexuals and bisexuals are about 3 to 4 times as likely to be child molesters as heterosexuals.

Unfortunately, I've been unable to find that paper again.