Sexual self-concept among men and women child sexual abuse survivors: Emergence of differentiated profiles

Child Abuse Negl. 2020 Jun;104:104481. doi: 10.1016/j.chiabu.2020.104481. Epub 2020 Apr 4.


Background: Child sexual abuse (CSA) can impact survivor's sexuality, notably regarding sexual self-concept, a key component of sexual well-being. Yet, sexual self-concept has been understudied among CSA survivors and gender differences have been sparsely investigated.

Objective: The current study aimed to identify CSA survivors' distinct profiles according to their sexual self-concept, and compare these profiles based on factors such as CSA characteristics, gender, current age, sexual functioning and adult sexual assault (ASA).

Participants and setting: A total of 176 CSA survivors (60 % women, 40 % men), recruited through community organizations for CSA victims and social media publications, completed an online survey.

Methods: Hierarchical cluster analysis was performed using the Sexuality Scale (Snell & Papini, 1989). Chi-square and ANOVA tests were used to compare the groups on external variables.

Results: Cluster analysis revealed the best overall fit for a three-group model. The Confident and non-preoccupied profile (48 %) is characterized by a moderate score on sexual esteem and the lowest scores of sexual preoccupation and depression. The Demeaning and depressive (37 %) profile is characterized by the lowest scores on sexual esteem and the highest scores on sexual depression. The Hyperconfident and preoccupied profile (15 %) shows the highest scores on sexual esteem and sexual preoccupation.

Conclusion: Sexual self-concept is an important component of sexuality that needs to be addressed by practitioners working with CSA survivors. Given heterogeneity and gender differences among survivors, identification of profiles is relevant for adapting interventions and clinical care.

Keywords: Child sexual abuse; Gender; Profiles; Self-concept; Sexuality; Victimization.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Adult Survivors of Child Abuse*
  • Aged
  • Cluster Analysis
  • Crime Victims
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Self Concept*
  • Self Report
  • Sexuality*
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Young Adult