Childhood sexual abuse and adult sexual risk behavior: A review and critique


Childhood sexual abuse (CSA) is a global problem with serious repercussions for survivors in various domains of adult interpersonal functioning, including sexual risk behavior. This review aimed to summarize findings from the recent literature on the connections between CSA and later adult sexual risk behaviors (e.g., unprotected intercourse, sexually transmitted infection [STSI] diagnosis). The sexual risk behaviors consistently associated with CSA were having sex under the influence of alcohol/substances and reports of concurrent sexual partners/infidelity. Notably, studies investigating the links between CSA and history of STI diagnosis and CSA and reports of unprotected sex (with the exception of samples comprised men who have sex with men) produced inconsistent findings. The methodological limitations of existing studies are considered and suggestions for future research are offered.


Ménard AD, MacIntosh HB




  • Epidemiology and Determinants of Health
    • Determinants of Health
  • Determinants of Health
    • Abuse
  • Population(s)
    • Children or Youth (less than 18 years old)
    • General HIV- population
  • Prevention, Engagement and Care Cascade
    • Prevention
  • Prevention
    • Sexual risk behaviour


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