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Some Correlates of Women's Childhood Sexual Experiences: A Retrospective Study

Allie C. Kilpatrick
The Journal of Sex Research
Vol. 22, No. 2 (May, 1986), pp. 221-242
Published by: Taylor & Francis, Ltd.
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/3812441
Page Count: 22
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Some Correlates of Women's Childhood Sexual Experiences: A Retrospective Study
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Abstract

Relatively few empirical studies have addressed long-range effects of childhood sexual experiences. This study examined the relationships of various childhood sexual experiences to adult functioning in five areas: (a) family relations, (b) depression, (c) marital satisfaction, (d) sexual satisfaction, and (e) self-esteem. A retrospective survey was conducted with a sample of 501 predominantly middle-class women. No clinical or offender populations were used. Five standardized scales were used as dependent variables. On none of the five variables were the scores of women with childhood sexual experiences significantly different from those of women with no childhood sexual experiences. However, the interactions of negative experiences, such as the use of force and abusive behavior, with the type of partner, such as a parent or other relative, were significantly associated with adult functioning. Some of the findings challenge commonly held beliefs and have far-reaching implications for the helping professions and others who study human sexuality.

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