The aim of this research was to analyse the possible differences in sexuality among female survivors of sexual abuse during childhood or adolescence and non-survivors of the same age, family structure and parental educational level.
In order to assess sexual desire, sexual arousal, orgasmic ability, and negative sexual affect, the “Brief Sexual Functioning Questionnaire” (BSFQ; Meston, Rellini & Heiman 2006) was employed. An additional question was used to assess anxiety, fear, and disgust associated with sex. In addition, sexual intimacy was assessed through Jacob and Veach’s (2005) interview (“Are you satisfied with sexual intimacy?” “Does it feel natural and comfortable?” “How frequently are you sexually intimate and who usually initiates sexual intimacy?”; “Being sexually abused may lead to confusion about their sexual identity. Has this been an issue for you?”).
The sample comprised 112 female college students aged between 18 and 24 years who had suffered sexual abuse with physical contact. Students’ t-test results showed that mean scores of survivors were significantly higher on the 4 sexual desire measures (sexual desire or interest during the past month; sexual thoughts, fantasies or erotic dreams; masturbation). However, survivors also presented higher mean scores on fear during a sexual interaction and anxiety or disgust. In addition, the results of Chi-square analyses showed that the percentage of sexual abuse survivors who experienced confusion about their sexual identity was significantly higher than that in the comparison group.