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Thursday, October 05, 2000 7:47 am Email this article
It is estimated that approximately one in seven women (14.5 percent) and one in fourteen men (7.2 percent) were sexually abused as children.
Approximately half (56 percent) of women and (47 percent of) men with a history of childhood sexual abuse were found to have a psychiatric disorder.
This compares to approximately one-third of women (32 percent) and (34 percent) men who were not sexually abused.
Ten out of 15 studies found that childhood sexual abuse was a risk factor for bulimia nervosa (binge-purge syndrome), but not for anorexia nervosa.
People who were suffered childhood sexual abuse were twice as likely to be at least 50 pounds overweight as people who were not abused according to a chart review of 131 patients.
Sixty percent of those who reported a history of rape or sexual molestation were at least 50 pounds overweight, as compared to only 28 percent of persons matched on sex and age, but without a history of abuse.
Twenty-five per cent of the abused group was found to be at least 100 pounds overweight, compared with only 6 percent of controls. Based on information extracted from patients’ medical records, the abuse typically preceded and was often proximate to the onset of obesity.
Short-term problems found in children who are sexually abused include depression, anxiety, sleep disturbances, complaints that have no medical explanation such as headaches, stomaches, dizziness, palpitations, etc, phobic reactions, dissociation, low self-esteem, and deficits in intellectual, physical, social, and sexual development.
Long-term problems found in children who are sexually abused include many of the same conditions as well as post-traumatic stress disorder, substance abuse, sexual dysfunction, borderline personality disorder, and suicidality
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