Gender identification and sex role attribution in sexually abused adolescent females

Claire J Aiosa-Karpas, Pace University


An exploratory study of the association between child sexual abuse and consequent gender identification and sex role attribution was conducted with 93 adolescent females, ages 12 through 19. Thirty-one victims of intrafamilial sexual abuse with a history of psychotherapeutic treatment were compared with equal numbers of nonabused subjects with a history of treatment, and nonabused notreatment control subjects. The three groups were comparable with respect to age, religion, race, and socioeconomic status. The two treatment groups were comparable with regard to treatment and diagnostic history. It was hypothesized that gender identification and sex role attribution of sexually abused subjects would be significantly different than that of subjects with no reported history of sexual abuse. The individually administered research protocol included a semistructured clinical interview, projective instruments, and self-report questionnaires. Parent and subject reports of general behavior functioning were also obtained. Empirical and descriptive evaluation found support for disturbed gender identification among girls with a history of intrafamilial sexual abuse. Hypothesized differences in sex role attribution were not found. Differential behavior patterns emerged on both the self- and parent reports for sexually abused girls. The results are discussed in the context of current clinical theory. Potential directions for research methodology are offered and implications and recommendations for treatment are discussed.

Subject Area

Educational psychology|Social work|Psychotherapy

Recommended Citation

Aiosa-Karpas, Claire J, "Gender identification and sex role attribution in sexually abused adolescent females" (1988). ETD Collection for Pace University. AAI8919804.



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