The Impact of Childhood Sexual Abuse on Adult Female Sexual Function and Sexual Distress: A Systematic Review and Meta- Analysis

2024 35(1): 63-74
DOI: 10.5080/u26991
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Objective: In this study, it was aimed to examine the impacts of
exposure to childhood sexual abuse (CSA) on women’s sexual function
and sexual distress.
Method: In this systematic review and meta-analysis study, eight
international (EBSCO, Psyc-Info, Proquest, PubMed, Science Direct,
Scopus, Ovid, Web of Science) and two national electronic databases
(Dergipark and Thesis Database of the Turkish Council of Higher
Education) were searched. Studies reporting outcomes of sexual
function and sexual distress in women with and without a history of
CSA were included. The data were synthesized by meta-analysis and
narrative methods.
Results: Two dissertations and five research articles published between
2010 and 2021 were included in the study. In some studies that
were not included in the meta-analysis, it was reported that there
was no difference in the prevalence of sexual dysfunction, and sexual
satisfaction in women with and without a history of CSA. Meta-analysis
results demonstrated lower sexual function (sexual arousal, MD: -0.83,
p<0.001; sexual desire, MD: -0.55, p<0.001; lubrication, MD: -0.78,
p<0.01; pain, MD: -0.52, p<0.001) and more sexual distress (SMD:
-0.79, p<0.05) in women with CSA history.
Conclusion: This study showed that CSA negatively affects female
sexual function and increases sexual distress. Healthcare professionals
should be aware that women with a CSA history may have worse sexual
functions and more sexual distress. More research is needed on the role
of CSA in the etiology of sexual function problems and its possible
mechanisms of action.
Keywords: Childhood sexual abuse, sexual health, women, sexual