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Suicide Life Threat Behav. 2011 Jun;41(3):235-54. doi: 10.1111/j.1943-278X.2011.00025.x. Epub 2011 Apr 7.

Sex differences in childhood sexual abuse and suicide-related behaviors.

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The Suicide Studies Research Unit and the Keenan Research Centre at the Li Ka Shing Knowledge Institute of St. Michael's Hospital, Toronto, Canada.


Child sexual abuse and suicide-related behaviors are associated, but it remains unclear if the strength of this association differs in boys and girls. In a systematic review of this association in children and youth, we identified 16 relevant studies, all cross-sectional surveys of students. The association is stronger in boys specific to suicide attempt(s). Adjustments for potential confounding variables explained some, but not all of this sex difference. While additional research would strengthen causal inferences, this sex difference may be influenced by the nature and timing of child sexual abuse as well as the sex of the perpetrator, which in turn shapes the disclosure of these events.

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