Dissociation and Sexual Concerns in Male Survivors of Childhood Sexual Abuse: The Role of Identity Cohesion

Élise Villeneuve, Alison Paradis, Audrey Brassard, Marie Pier Vaillancourt-Morel, Mylène Fernet, Ateret Gewirtz-Meydan, Natacha Godbout

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Research on male survivors of childhood sexual abuse is notably deficient when it comes to addressing their sexual concerns, such as experiences of sexual distress, negative thoughts, and feelings related to their sexuality. Dissociation, a known consequence of childhood sexual abuse, could be associated with higher sexual concerns through identity cohesion. Precisely, dissociation can potentially be related to lower identity cohesion (e.g., not knowing what you want or need). In return, lower identity cohesion may be related to higher sexual concerns by impeding the capacity to know and accept oneself, which tends to promote a positive and healthy sexuality. This study aimed to examine the role of identity cohesion in the link between dissociation and sexual concerns in 105 men consulting for their history of childhood sexual abuse. Men completed questionnaires assessing dissociation, sexual concerns, and identity cohesion at admission in a community setting. Results of a path analysis revealed an indirect association between dissociation and higher sexual concerns through lower identity cohesion. The model explained 27.6% of the variance in sexual concerns. This study highlights the relevance of interventions targeting dissociative symptoms to improve identity cohesion and sexual health in male survivors of childhood sexual abuse.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)500-515
Number of pages16
JournalJournal of Trauma and Dissociation
Volume25
Issue number4
Early online date20 May 2024
DOIs
StatePublished - 2024
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2024 Taylor & Francis.

Keywords

  • Dissociation
  • childhood sexual abuse
  • identity difficulties
  • male survivors
  • sexual concerns

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