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Keywords:

  • sexual abuse;
  • traumatic sexualization;
  • sexual adjustment;
  • sexual behavior

Abstract

The present research developed an instrument which assesses congitive and behavioral factors purportedly associated with child sexual abuse histories. Finkelhor and Browne's construct of traumatic sexualization served as a guide for item selection. The study resulted in a 38-item reliable measure consisting of four subscales: Avoidance and Fear of Sexual and Physical Intimacy, Thoughts About Sex, Role of Sex in Relationships, and Attraction/Interest and Sexuality. Construct validity was established using a variety of self-report instruments associated with the dimensions of traumatic sexualization Sexually abused women scored higher than nonabused women on three TSS factors. Physically abused women differed from nonabused women on only one factor. Sexually abused women did not score significantly higher than physically abused women on any factors.