Does physical intimate partner violence affect sexual health? A systematic review

Trauma Violence Abuse. 2007 Apr;8(2):149-77. doi: 10.1177/1524838007301162.


Forty years of published research (1966-2006) addressing physical intimate partner violence (IPV) and sexual health was reviewed (51 manuscripts) and synthesized to determine (a) those sexual health indicators for which sufficient evidence is available to suggest a causal association and (b) gaps in the literature for which additional careful research is needed to establish causality and explain mechanisms for these associations. Sexual health was defined as a continuum of indicators of gynecology and reproductive health. IPV was consistently associated with sexual risk taking, inconsistent condom use, or partner nonmonogamy (23 of 27 studies), having an unplanned pregnancy or induced abortion (13 of 16 studies), having a sexually transmitted infection (17 of 24 studies), and sexual dysfunction (17 of 18 studies). A conceptual model was presented to guide further needed research addressing direct and indirect mechanisms by which physical, sexual, and psychological IPV affects sexual health.

Publication types

  • Review
  • Systematic Review

MeSH terms

  • Contraception Behavior
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Infertility / epidemiology
  • Infertility / etiology
  • Male
  • Pelvic Pain / epidemiology
  • Pelvic Pain / etiology
  • Sex Education
  • Sexual Behavior*
  • Sexually Transmitted Diseases / epidemiology
  • Sexually Transmitted Diseases / etiology
  • Spouse Abuse*
  • Unsafe Sex
  • Urinary Tract Infections / epidemiology
  • Urinary Tract Infections / etiology
  • Uterine Cervical Neoplasms / epidemiology
  • Uterine Cervical Neoplasms / etiology