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Relationship Between a History of Childhood Sexual Abuse and Gender Role Attitudes

NCJ Number
Journal of Child Sexual Abuse Volume: 18 Issue: 6 Dated: November-December 2009 Pages: 641-654
Jo Ann Unger; G. Ron Norton; Rayleen V. De Luca
Date Published
December 2009
14 pages
This study explored the relationship between childhood sexual abuse (CSA) and gender role attitudes.
Findings indicate that traditional participant gender role attitude and social isolation were associated with reporting being sexually abused as a child and might be risk factors for, or the result of a history of CSA in women. CSA was associated with traditional gender role attitudes in parents for female participants in a simple comparison of means, but not when control variables were included in the analysis. Women who had unwanted sexual experiences as children, adolescents, or young adults were more likely to have parents with traditional gender role attitudes; however, the parent gender role attitude score was not a significant predictor of CSA when other variables were controlled. Traditional participant gender role attitude and low income were associated with victim distress and therefore might be detrimental to coping with a history of childhood sexual abuse. Data were collected from 377 female university students recruited from a Canadian university who rated themselves and their parents on gender role attitudes and history of CSA. Table and references