ERIC Number: ED274938
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1986-May
The Effects of Incest: A Review of the Literature Pertaining to Women and Children.
Warner, Lisa Elaine
The number of children and adult women known to have experienced an incestuous relationship is growing. Clinical case studies, systematic empirical case studies, and comparative empirical studies have been conducted to examine the effects of incest. Although few studies have been able to directly connect psychological and relational problems of incest victims with the incest experience itself, some of the hypothesized effects have been supported. Studies have suggested that, compared to other groups, women with a history of incest may experience more sexual and heterosexual difficulties, have more negative feelings and attitudes toward sex, and have less trust in men and male/female relationships. Children who have been in an incestuous relationship often engage in significantly more sexual behavior and demonstrate more interest in sex than do their peers. In adolescence, this behavior may take the form of promiscuity. Hypothesized effects of incest which have not been supported by systematic research include guilt and shame, depression, self-destructive behavior, psychosomatic disorders, anger and aggression in adults, dissociative experiences, multiple personality, and family problems. The effects of sexual abuse may depend largely on the treatment the victim receives after the incest stops. In addition, there are individual and family variables that may mediate the type or intensity of the effects an individual experiences. Studies of various interaction effects need to be conducted in order to identify and understand these variables. A five-page reference list concludes the document. (NB)
Publication Type: Information Analyses
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Doctor of Psychology Research Paper, Biola University, California.