How does child abuse affect survivors' sexual health?

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) links adverse childhood experiences (which include other household dysfunctions in addition to child abuse and child neglect) with a range of long-term health impacts including the following sexual and reproductive health issues and risk factors:
  • multiple sexual partners
  • sexually transmitted diseases
  • unintended pregnancies
  • early initiation of sexual activity
  • adolescent pregnancy
  • fetal death
Abused children are more likely to engage in sexual risk taking and more likely to experience teen pregnancy. The likelihood of teen pregnancy increases with each adverse childhood experience.

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Child Abuse

In most cases of child abuse, the abuser is someone the child knows; parent, relative, or family friend. Abuse can be emotional, neglect, sexual, or physical abuse. All types of abuse can cause permanent mental or emotional damage ...

to the child as they age. Many will turn to alcohol or drug use, and some may become withdrawn and depressed.

Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.