Question

Sexual Abuse

How does sexual abuse affect the child?

A Answers (2)

  • ABonnie Lynn Wright, PhD, Geriatrics Nursing, answered on behalf of Honor Society of Nursing (STTI)

    Sexual abuse is an Adverse Childhood Experience (ACE). ACEs stunt the growth and pruning of the brain 'trees' or neural architecture. This can lead to poor school performance, depression, suicide, inability to form and develop nurturing relationships, chronic diseases, obesity and addiction.

    In addition, people react from their past history to circumstances in the present. A person who was sexually abused as a child will exhibit responses to sexual stimuli in the present tainted with that abuse experience. For example, a woman who is uncooperative during a pelvic exam at the doctor's office may be reacting to abuse in her past.

  • AChallenge America answered
    Depression impairs sexual function by lowering libido (sexual desire) and dulling feelings of pleasure. Veterans with depression may feel uninterested in sex, or have difficulty initiating or completing the act. This inability to be aroused or to perform then creates a loss of confidence, which can hurt the progress of recovery from depression. In addition, depression adds tension and strain to relationships with partners or spouses, which in turn affects sexual intimacy. Between 35% - 61% of depressed patients (depending on the severity of the condition) in the general population report having problems with sex. Antidepressant drugs such as SSRIs can sometimes have side effects that interfere with sexual desire and performance. Veterans using SSRIs to treat their depression might benefit from changing medications if they are experiencing a negative effect on their sexual lives
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