Childhood Sexual Abuse and Sexual Risk-Taking Among Men Who Have Sex with Women: The Roles of Alcohol, Mental Health Symptoms, and Sex Motives
Schraufnagel, Trevor J.
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Several studies have suggested that those who have experienced childhood sexual abuse (CSA) are at greater risk for sexually-transmitted infections later in life than are their non-abused counterparts. For the most part, the populations investigated to date have consisted of women, men who have sex with men, and high-risk clinical or homeless populations. As such, little is known in this domain about men who have sex with women (MSW). Furthermore, even among the most frequently studied populations, research that has been devoted to identifying and examining potential mediators in the CSA - sexual risk relationship is scarce. To address these gaps, the current studies evaluated the presence and possible mediators of the CSA - sexual risk relationship among a community sample of MSW. Paper I reviews the research on CSA and sexual risk-taking that has been conducted to date among MSW and highlights the role that alcohol consumption may play as a mediator in such a relationship. Paper I goes on to present a longitudinal study that examined the effect of CSA on several later sexual risk indices and evaluates the extent to which alcohol-related variables factor into this relationship. Paper I also presents findings related to idiosyncratic CSA characteristics and how such characteristics may affect alcohol- and sexual risk-related outcomes. Paper II extends Paper I by introducing and reviewing additional, non-alcohol-related variables that may play a mediational role in the CSA - sexual risk relationship. Paper II then proceeds to present a longitudinal study that examined mood and anxiety symptoms and sex motives as mediators in the relationship between CSA and number of sexual partners. The results from these studies extend previous findings concerning the relationship between one's history of CSA and one's subsequent sexual risk-related behaviors. Furthermore, the current studies underscore the importance of ongoing research to further refine our understanding of sexual risk-taking in the wake of sexual abuse.
- Psychology