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J Consult Clin Psychol. 2003 Dec;71(6):987-96.

Child sexual abuse and number of sexual partners in young women: the role of abuse severity, coping style, and sexual functioning.

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Naval Health Research Center, San Diego, California 92186-5122, USA.


The authors proposed and tested a model describing distinct pathways through which childhood sexual abuse (CSA) may lead to relatively low or high numbers of sexual partners in adulthood. Path analyses were conducted on survey responses of young female US Navy recruits who reported CSA (N=547). Use of avoidant strategies to cope with CSA was expected to produce higher levels of sexual problems and fewer heterosexual sex partners, whereas use of self-destructive coping strategies was expected to result in more dysfunctional sexual behavior and more heterosexual sex partners. As predicted, the effect of CSA on number of sex partners was largely mediated by coping strategies and dysfunctional sexual behavior.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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