College of Psychology: Faculty Articles

Title

Abuse Characteristics among Childhood Sexual Abuse Survivors in Therapy: A Gender Comparison

Document Type

Article

Publication Date

10-1998

Keywords

Child Abuse, Sexual Abuse, Abuse Characteristics, Gender Comparison

Publication Title

Child Abuse and Neglect

ISSN

0145-2134

Volume

22

Issue/No.

10

Peer Reviewed

1

Abstract

Objective: The goal of this investigation was to examine similarities and differences in childhood sexual abuse (CSA) characteristics between men and women survivors in outpatient psychotherapy utilizing a substantial sample size of men, while examining an extensive range of abuse characteristics.

Method: Abuse characteristics of 48 men from an outpatient treatment program for adult survivors of CSA in a university-based community mental health center were compared with those of 257 women from the same program. Data on abuse history were collected at admission or as soon thereafter as possible using a structured clinical interview with established reliability.

Results: Women were significantly more likely to have been sexually abused by a family member. Men were significantly more likely to report having oral sex performed upon them. Otherwise, no significant gender differences not attributable to anatomical differences (e.g., vaginal vs. anal intercourse) were found.

Conclusions: The findings suggest that very few differences exist in the nature and extent of CSA reported by men and women. Thus CSA perpetrated on boys appears largely comparable in nature and extent to that committed against girls.

DOI

10.1016/S0145-2134(98)00085-4