Though information about one's sexuality may be inferred from sexual interactions themselves, a sexual sense of self may also be derived from the quality of the intimate relationship more generally. In this study, we examined the sexual self-perceptions of young women in dating relationships (N=108) as a function of whether these relationships were characterized by abuse. Negative sexual self-perceptions were found to be more evident among women who were experiencing physical/psychological abuse or sexual coercion in their current relationships than among women who were not, even after controlling for self-esteem and depressive symptoms. However, positive sexual self-perceptions were unaffected by abuse, and hence may provide young women a basis for establishing healthier relationships in future.
Sex Roles – Springer Journals
Published: Jan 4, 2004
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