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Consequences of childhood sexual abuse for health and well-being: Gender similarities and differences 



Author(s)Sigurdardottir, Sigrun, Halldorsdottir, Sigridur and Soley S. Bender
Title Consequences of childhood sexual abuse for health and well-being: gender similarities and differences
Source Scandinavian Journal of Public Health,May 2014, Vol. 42, No. 3, pp. 278-286
Date 2014
Document type Journal article
Coverage Iceland

The study analyses the similarities and differences amongst both men and women in the long term consequences of childhood sexual abuse. The aim of the study was to focus on the health and well-being of the participants, in particular issues in relation to health in general, relationships, intimacy and relations with children, in order to provide important public health perspectives.   A comparative analysis was undertaken consisting of 28 in depth interviews with 14 participants, seven men and seven women, who had experienced sexual abuse as a child. The study found that although both genders experienced similar types of suffering and health problems as a result of their childhood abuse, the main difference that was prominent was that women were more likely to internalise their emotional suffering while men had a tendency to externalise it. The findings of the study indicated that health professionals should be more aware of the symptoms related to childhood sexual abuse so proper support can be provided. Further research was also mentioned as essential in order to provide long lasting public health measures to prevent childhood sexual assault and the severe trauma that is caused by it.

Keywords Childhood sexual abuse; comparative analysis; hermeneutics; interviews; men's health; phenomenology; qualitative; suffering; women's health

Male victims, Sexual assault; children;