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J Child Sex Abus. 2008;17(3-4):359-76.

The impact of sexual abuse on sexual identity formation in gay men.

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Mental Health and Behavioral Medicine Program, Boston University School of Medicine, Boston, MA 02118, USA.


Emerging data suggests that as children, gay males have an increased risk for physical and sexual abuse. Anecdotal evidence suggests that a significant subset of children abused by clergy identify as gay as adults. However, we know very little about the impact of clergy-perpetrated sexual abuse in childhood on the development and psychosocial functioning of gay men. This article describes the incidence of childhood abuse in the lives of gay men and the probable impact of clergy-perpetrated sexual abuse. In the treatment of gay men sexually abused as children, including those abused by clergy, providers should use a normative frame for gay identity development such as the Homosexual Identity Formation Model. This treatment model, highlighted with case material, is also discussed.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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