Effects of Childhood Sexual Abuse in Adulthood

  • :: 6 Works Cited
  • Length: 1200 words (3.4 double-spaced pages)
  • Rating: Excellent
Open Document

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

Text Preview

More ↓

Continue reading...

Open Document

Effects of Childhood Sexual Abuse in Adulthood

Child abuse is a serious issue in today's society. Many people have been victims of child abuse. There are three forms of child abuse: physical, emotional, and sexual. Many researchers believe that sexual abuse is the most detremental of the three. A middle-aged adult who is feeling depressed will probably not relate it back to his childhood, but maybe he should. The short-term effects of childhood sexual abuse have been proven valid, but now the question is, do the long-term effects of childhood sexual abuse affect middle-aged adults? Many contradicting views arise from the subject of childhood sexual abuse. Researchers and psychologists argue on this issue. Childhood sexual abuse has the potential to damage a child physically, emotionally, and behaviorally for the rest of his or her childhood, and the effects have been connected to lasting into middle-aged adulthood.

Research has been conducted on what type of children are the most at risk of being sexually abused. Childhood abuse has a greater chance of happening to children of certain backgrounds. One researcher states that "Child sexual abuse occurs more frequently in children from socially deprived and disorganized family backgrounds. Marital dysfunction, as evidenced by parental separation and domestic violence, is associated with higher risks of child sexual abuse" (Mullen 4). Mullen goes on to state that "The possibility has been raised that characteristics such as physical attractiveness, temperament, or physical maturity might increase the risks of children being sexually abused" (4).

Many researchers link behavioral problems in adulthood to childhood abuse. One researcher says that "An adult who was sexually abused as a child has a greater chance of becoming violent, suicidal, and abusive to their children than an adult who was not abused sexually as a child" (Kliest 155). These characteristics could hinder a victim from living a normal lifestyle and having a family. Kliest also states, "Adults who were abused sexually as children will have a greater chance than those who were not of experiencing sexual dysfunction, such as flashbacks, difficulty in arousal, and phobic reactions to sexual intimacy" (156). Many researchers agree that childhood sexual abuse has a negative effect on an adult's personal relationships. Another researcher states, "A history of childhood sexual abuse (CSA) appears to have an adverse impact on the quality of adult intimate relationships, and they report avoiding the development of close adult relationships because of their fear of rejection" (Whiffen 1103).

Need Writing Help?

Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.

Check your paper »

How to Cite this Page

MLA Citation:
"Effects of Childhood Sexual Abuse in Adulthood." 123HelpMe.com. 25 May 2018
Title Length Color Rating  
The Effect of Childhood Sexual Abuse during Adulthood Essay - The Effect of Childhood Sexual Abuse during Adulthood The effects of childhood sexual abuse carry on with the children forever. To what extent and to what effect does abuse have on children during adulthood. What are the main issues that adults have been abused suffer from in adulthood. Do they have more of a physical issue with preforming with their partner in the bedroom or do they have more of a mental block due to their trauma. The world had been asking these questions for far too long and we need answers on how helping the children of our world....   [tags: psychology, molestation, behavioral science]
:: 2 Works Cited
1293 words
(3.7 pages)
Strong Essays [preview]
The Effects of Childhood Sexual Abuse Essay - Child sexual abuse has been reported up to 80,000 times a year, but the number of unreported instances is far greater, because the children are afraid to tell anyone what has happened (American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry). Childhood sexual abuse is a traumatic experience affecting the lives of not only the victim, but those close to the victim as well. Many think there is only one person truly traumatized, but in fact, everyone involved is affected. The victim has to deal with their experience the rest of their lives....   [tags: child abuse, argumentative, persuasive] 1832 words
(5.2 pages)
Better Essays [preview]
Child Abuse and Later Maladjustment in Adulthood Essay - In this paper, the researcher will address the adjustment issues often seen in individuals who were abused early in their childhood. Abuse can be traumatic for any individual but it is especially troubling when endured at one of the most vulnerable developmental stages of the person’s life. Although intervention has been known to help dramatically, children can be easily manipulated into keeping the abuse a secret. For this reason, an emphasis is placed on the importance of professionals constantly interacting with children, being able to recognize the signs and symptoms of abuse, so that any suspicions can be immediately reported....   [tags: sexual abuse, physical abuse, saint lucia]
:: 16 Works Cited
1610 words
(4.6 pages)
Powerful Essays [preview]
Essay on The Effects of Child Abuse - Child abuse is the physical maltreatment or sexual molestation of a child. This ferocious act is happening to thousands of children behind closed doors all around the world. The abusers feel a sense of power when participating in the abuse but show nothing but weakness by using their violence against the innocence of a child. It is a violent, disturbing, and vicious criminal act that often leads to terrible outcomes including academic, criminal, emotional, and physical problems. These problems can occur as long term or short term effects....   [tags: physical maltreatment, sexual molestation]
:: 5 Works Cited
899 words
(2.6 pages)
Better Essays [preview]
The Long Term Effects of Child Abuse Essay - Possible Examples of the Long-Term Effects of Abuse • In adulthood they abuse their loved ones. (Berman, PhD, How childhood abuse can manifest is adult relationships), "It is estimated that up to one-third of abused or neglected children will act out the same abusive behavior they were subjected to when they become parents or caretakers.”(N.D.) • They become addicted to drugs and/or alcohol. (Center for Disease Control and Pervention, National Center for injury Prevention and Control) “Children who experience maltreatment and neglect are 1.5 times more likely to use illicit drugs”....   [tags: addiction, drugs, alcohol, sexualy irresponsible]
:: 10 Works Cited
1069 words
(3.1 pages)
Strong Essays [preview]
The Childhood Obesity Epidemic Essay - In today's modern era, the prevalence of childhood obesity is ubiquitous. It is an epidemic plaguing the lives of many young children and adolescent worldwide. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (2014), in the United States, close to 17% (or 12.5 million) of all children and adolescents aged 2-19 years are obese (CDC, 2014). Furthermore, the American Heart Association (2013) stated that "childhood obesity is now the No.1 health concern among parents in the United States topping drug abuse and smoking" (AHA, 2013, para....   [tags: Childhood Obesity Essays]
:: 11 Works Cited
1974 words
(5.6 pages)
Term Papers [preview]
The Consequences of Early Childhood Abuse Essay - In the article “The long-term impact of childhood abuse on internalizing disorders among older adults” Child abuse is a major life stressor that has important consequences for several indices of mental health in adults (Sachs-Ericsson, Verona, Joiner, & Preacher, 2006). The connection between the childhood abuse and adulthood consequences gives insight of just how severe effects it as on you later in life. In the survey a measurement of childhood abuse experiences including emotional, physical and sexual were recorded....   [tags: long term health problems] 627 words
(1.8 pages)
Strong Essays [preview]
The Consequences of Childhood Sexual Abuse Essay - Introduction Child Sexual Abuse (CSA) constitutes a very small amount of cases, but nonetheless it is extremely detrimental for children. Studies evaluated the consequences of childhood sexual abuse and revealed that such traumatic experiences can harm the child physically, psychologically, and emotionally. The disturbing experiences can also negatively impact the child during their adolescence and adulthood. The World Health Organization (WHO) recognizes child maltreatment as physical and emotional abuse, negligence, and commercial or other exploitation of children (Smallbone, Marshall, & Wortley, 2011)....   [tags: traumatic experience, maltreatment] 541 words
(1.5 pages)
Strong Essays [preview]
Childhood Sexual Abuse Essay - Introduction Studying how sexual abuse in childhood effects a person socioemotionally develops through their young adult years is especially important. This is so because young adulthood is already difficult because it is a hard transition period in which they are no longer a child and need to function in the adult world. It is known that childhood sexual abuse has a huge impact on most of the child victims to the point where when they are adults they have developed differently in at least the socioemotional aspect (Schilling, Aseltine, & Gore, 2007)....   [tags: self-steem, anxiety, trauma, academic success]
:: 6 Works Cited
2070 words
(5.9 pages)
Term Papers [preview]
Sexual Abuse and Young Children Essay - As reported in Child Maltreatment 2013, out of the estimated 905,000 victims of child abuse and neglect reported in the United States in 2013, 8.8% were victims of sexual abuse. 1 This means that in that year over 79,600 children were sexually abused in the United States. “There is general agreement among mental health and child protection professionals that child sexual abuse is not uncommon and is a serious problem in the United States.” 2 Sexual abuse has a very broad definition. According to the American Psychological Association, “a central characteristic…is the dominant position of an adult that allows him or her to force or coerce a child into sexual activity.” 3 The Child Abuse Pre...   [tags: Child Abuse Essays]
:: 12 Works Cited
1756 words
(5 pages)
Term Papers [preview]

Related Searches

These behavioral problems possess the ability to destroy an adult's intimate relationships.

Being sexually abused as a child has the power to lead to mental health problems as a middle-aged adult. Depression is a common effect of childhood sexual abuse for middle-aged adults. Shane Kasner, a psychologist, states, "Research has consistently found that childhood sexual abuse (CSA) is associated with poor psychological outcome in adult populations" (Kasner 1245). Valerie Whiffen, a psychologist, reports that there is strong evidence relating childhood sexual abuse (CSA) with adult depression (Whiffen 1102). Whiffen says, "Both men and women with a history of childhood sexual abuse reported more interpersonal problems than individuals without this history" (1104). Another researcher documents that "It has often been reprted that suffering abuse as a child can have a negative effect on one's mental health as an adult. Several studies of female psychiatric inpatients and outpatients have found that between 36% to 51% of subjects reported histories of sexual abuse" (Barnard-Thompson 6). That is a very alarming number. Barnard-Thompson also report that "Residents also recognized the significant association of post-traumatic stress disorder, boderline personality disorder, and dissociative disorders with child sexual abuse" (6). These as just a few examples of the outcomes that sexual abuse can cause in middle-aged adults. L.A. McKeown, a doctor, states that "adult women who were sexually abused as children have different hormonal reactions to stress than women who were not abused (McKeown 1). McKeown also says "Women who ere not victims of abuse, whether they were depressed or not, had a heightened biological response to the stressful situation, the degree of their response correlated with the severity of the childhood truama" (1). It has been proven that there is damaging emotional effects that acompany middle-aged adults who are victims of childhood sexual abuse.

Research has been done to argue that a child who was sexually abused has a chance of developing physical problems as a middle-aged adult. Research conducted indicates that a child who was abused sexually has a greater chance of becming involved with drugs as a middle-aged adult than does a child who was not abused sexually. One expert reports, "Women who were sexually abused during childhood are at increased risk for developing psychiatric and substance abuse disorders, and this association was most apparent with more severe forms of sexual abuse" (Henderson 4). Substance disorders can be extremely harmful. Henderson also reports that "Self-reported childhood sexual abuse was positively associated with all disorders, the highest being seen with bulimia and other drug dependence" (4). Bulimia is a disease that can become very dangerous and in some cases fatal. Suicide is another long-term effect. Jocelyn Brown, a psychiatrist, noted that adults with a history of sexaul abuse were more likely to become suicidal (Brown 1). Brown says, "Risk of repeated suicide attempts was eight times greater for adults with a sexual abuse history" (2). It is disturbing to think that a victim of childhood sexual abuse can be so greatly effected from the incident, that it drives a person to take his or her own life.

The effects of childhood sexual abuse can last into middle-aged adulthood. Childhood sexual abuse has the power to ruin an adult's personal and intimate relationships. It can also cause an adult to experience many physical problems from being sexually abused. In addition, many middle-aged adults who were sexually abused as a child can suffer mental health problems. Parents need to be aware of the signs of child abuse. No child should ever be a victim of any type of abuse.

Works Cited
Barnard-Thompson, Kathleen, and Pierre Leichner. "Psychiatric Residents' Views on their Training and Experience Regarding Issues Related to Child Abuse."Canadian Journal of Psychiatry 44 (Oct 1999): 6-9
Brown, Jocelyn. "Children Abuse and Neglect: Specificity of Effects on Adolescent and Young Adult Depression and Suicidality." Journal of the American Academy of Child Adolescent Psychiatry 38:12 (Dec 1999): 1490-1496
Henderson, C.W. "Women Sexually Abused as Children at Increased Risk of Developing Psychiatric Illness." Women's Health Weekly 11 (Nov 2000): 4-11
Kandel, Minouche, and Eric Kandel. "Repressed Memories of Child Abuse may be Valid." Child Sexual Abuse. Ed. Bruno Leone. San Diego: Greenhaven, 1998. 27-34
Kasner, Shane. "The Relationship Between Adult Psychological Adjustments and Childhood Sexual Abuse." Journal of Interpersonal Violence 15:12 (Dec 2000): 1243-1267
Kliest, George A. "Research on Long-term Effects of Child Abuse." Family Journal 7 (Apr 1999): 154-163. Galileo. 11 Nov 2001
McKeown, L.A. "Research Reveals Changes in the Brain Years After Abuse." Aug 2000. Online Posting. WebMD Medical News. {http://webmd.lycos.com/content/articles/1728.599557}
Mullen, Paul E. "Long-term Effects of Child Sexual Abuse" Issues in Child Abuse Prevention 9 (Aug 1998): 989-1011
Whiffen, Valerie E. "Mediators of the Link Between Childhood Abuse and Adult Depressive Symptoms." Journal of Interpersonal Violence 15:10 (Oct 2000): 1100-1121

Return to 123HelpMe.com