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Am J Psychiatry. 2007 Nov;164(11):1700-6.

History of past sexual abuse in married observant Jewish women.

Author information

  • 1Department of Psychiatry, Mt. Sinai School of Medicine, New York, NY, USA. rachel.yehuda@va.gov

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

The authors examined instances of past sexual abuse and related demographic characteristics in the self-reports of a select group of married observant Jewish women.

METHODS:

Orthodox Jewish married women (N=380) ages 19 to 58 responded to advertisements asking them to complete an anonymous questionnaire about sexual experiences, including sexual abuse.

RESULTS:

Sexual abuse was reported by 26% of the respondents surveyed, with 16% reporting abuse occurring by the age of 13. More ultra-Orthodox Jews reported abuse than modern-Orthodox Jews. Women who were raised observant reported significantly less childhood sexual abuse than those who became observant later in life. Sexual abuse was associated with increased treatment-seeking for depression, marital counseling, or other emotional or psychological problems.

CONCLUSION:

While observant Jewish women live in a culture defined by a high degree of adherence to specific laws of conduct, including rules designed to regulate sexual contact, sexual abuse of various types still exists among them.

PMID:
17974935
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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