ERIC Number: ED361639
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1993-May-14
The Sexual Functioning of Adult Women Molested as Children: A Review of Empirical Studies.
Clarke, Julie Lynn
This paper reviews the research literature from 1978 to 1991 that addresses long-term effects of childhood sexual abuse on adult women's sexual functioning. Frequently reported long-term effects of childhood sexual abuse are noted, including both sexual dissatisfaction and sexual dysfunction. In terms of sexual dysfunction, it is noted that adult women molested as children may experience response inhibiting problems including fear of sex, desire dysfunction, and arousal dysfunction; orgasmic problems; and intromission problems. Incidents of flashbacks during sexual activities and increased rates of subsequent sexual assault as reported by women who were sexually abused as children are discussed. Various methodological problems of the existing research are addressed, including differences in definitions of sexual abuse, descriptions of victims and perpetrators, the nature of the sample used (sample size, clinical versus nonclinical samples, lack of appropriate control of comparison groups), and data collection and measurement issues. The review concludes that there is a need for: (1) more empirical research which utilizes large nonclinical or combined samples, control or comparison groups, standardized measures, and statistical analysis of the data; (2) operationalized definitions of sexual abuse to ease comparisons across studies; and (3) the development and utilization of special outcome measures of child sexual abuse. (Contains 35 resources.) (NB)
Publication Type: Dissertations/Theses - Doctoral Dissertations
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Doctoral Research Paper, Biola University.