The Impact of Child Sexual Abuse on Men’s Sexual Function: A Systematic Review

Ateret Gewirtz-Meydan, Eugenia Opuda

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

23 Scopus citations

Abstract

Child sexual abuse (CSA) is strongly associated with sexual dysfunction. However, research about male survivors’ sexual functioning after CSA is lacking. The current systematic review searched for all studies that reported on CSA and sexual function among male survivors to answer the following questions: Do male survivors of CSA experience sexual dysfunctions, and if so, to what extent? Does CSA increase the risk of developing sexual dysfunctions in adulthood among men? Studies were identified by searching seven databases and sources of gray literature. The selection criteria included empirical studies involving a population of adult men who experienced CSA before the age of 18. Studies focused on sexual functioning and sexual development after the abuse. Twelve studies met the selection criteria. While some studies confirmed that CSA is a risk factor for sexual dysfunction in adult male survivors, including low sexual drive, problems with arousal, and difficulties with orgasm and pain, other studies failed to find a correlation between sexual dysfunction and CSA. The wide range in quality, methodology, and definitions of CSA and sexual function presented challenges to consistent analysis of the studies and to determine the impact of CSA. Further research is required to fully understand the effect of CSA on adult men’s sexual function.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)265-277
Number of pages13
JournalTrauma, Violence, and Abuse
Volume23
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 2022
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© The Author(s) 2020.

Keywords

  • child sexual abuse (CSA)
  • erectile dysfunction
  • male survivors
  • sexual function

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