Trauma: Childhood Sexual Abuse

Susanne Babbel, a licensed psychotherapist who practices with a trauma specialty, states that sexual abuse leads to Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder. This continues into adulthood. In addition to this, she states that children abused at an early age often become hyper-sexualized and are more likely to abuse substances in the future. Babbel also states that children recover quicker from sexual abuse if they ideally have a supportive, caring adult, such as a parent. Babbel also mentions some of the symptoms of child sexual abuse, such as, suicidality, habit disorders, sleep problems, and self-harming. I am using this source because it mentions that children can recover with a caring parent. Since I’m mainly focusing on girls abused by family members, I can make the point that the trauma is more long-term because the parent abused the child and can’t recover.

Warren J. Blumenfield, a professor at the University of Massachussets, claims that the media heavily influences gender stereotypes. He supports this claim with three examples of distinctive commercials. With these commercials, Blumenfield further illustrates the ideas that commercials, depending on the intended audience, can either be more masculine or more feminine. The extreme masculinity, which includes wrestling and breaking things, puts forth stereotypes in order to appeal to the male audience. He also references Judith Butler, who gives a clear perspective on the topic of gender, in order to show the difference between sex and gender. Blumenfield concludes his periodical by suggesting that children should be taught to create their own viewpoint, so media doesn’t have that big of an impact on how they think. I will not be using this source because my topic isn’t associated with gender and the media, but instead child sexual abuse. There is no correlation between the media and the impact of child sexual abuse.

George A. Bonanno, a professor of clinical psychology at Colombia University, along with the rest of the authors of this article, examined the link between childhood sexual abuse and revictimization later in life. They examined this link by doing cross-sectional studies of adults. In this case, they defined victimization as “harm perpetrated by an outside source that serves as a reenactment of the initial abuse”, which means they didn’t directly focus on self-harm, since it’s separate in this case. Participants in this study, were already in a long-term study of the psychobiological impact of C.S.A on female development. The participants were interviewed to recall their worst trauma while trained interviewers assisted the participants in narrows it down to one specific event or category of focus. The participants explained that one event in detail and were questioned. In conclusion, their study provided strong support for the prevalence of revictimization of victims of child sexual abuse at a relatively young age. I am using this source for my paper since it has a different view on what revictimization is. In addition to this, the specificity of the study will help to further explain the true extent of the trauma that these women experienced at a young age.

Susan Chira, a senior correspondent and editor of Gender Issues, asserts that there is a barrier between the number of male and female billionaires, which leads to a disparity of power. She supports her assertion with data that clarifies the fact that female billionaires commonly donate their money to smaller organizations that give them less perks and power. In addition to this, there are more male billionaires than female billionaires in the world in the first place. However, Chira articulates that more women are starting to gain a bit more power donation wise. She also encourages parents to raise and strengthen girls to pursue any future ventures. Chira concludes this article with a positive message that girls may end up becoming motivated to be billionaires in the future. Since this article focuses on the financial power disparity between men and women, I am not able to use this in my research paper. Finances do not primarily play a role in child sexual abuse in the situations I am looking at.

Caroline Cinq-Mars, a clinical psychologist in Montréal, Québec, examines the sexual at-risk behaviors of sexually abused girls. 125 sexually abused adolescent participants, ages ranging from 12 to 17, were used in this investigation. The at-risk behaviors that were being observed, included pregnancies and number of sexual partners. Multiple factors were investigated in this study, which menas multiple variables were taken into account, such as the severity and duration of the abuse. Cinq-Mars found that family characteristics were significantly associated with a higher likelihood of sexual at-risk behaviors. Cinq-Mars also found that the longer the duration of abuse occurred, the higher the likelihood that some of these at-risk behaviors would develop. This source will be used in my research paper for one of my claims which states that girls who are sexually abused are more likely to have more at-risk behaviors, which include sexual behaviors, self-harming behaviors, and substance abuse.

Penelope Eckert, a professor of linguistics and anthropology at Stanford University, and Sally McConnell-Ginet, a professor of linguistics at Cornell University, both argue that children shouldn’t be gendered based upon societal stereotypes. They also explain that gender stereotypes can automatically give parents a preconceived notion on how to raise their child. Eckert and McConnell-Ginet present psychological experiments that show how children are treated differently depending on their gender. One example was a baby dressed in girls’ clothes and boys’ clothes, then the baby was shown to people, and different reactions occurred with the exact same baby because the focus was on what the baby was dressed in. They also address the fact that certain colors and patterns are assigned to each gender. Eckert and McConnell-Ginet conclude by expressing the fact that children should be raised the same without enforcing any societal gender stereotypes. This information presented by Eckert and McConnell-Ginet may touch upon the topic of psychology and gender, however, it doesn’t get into the impact of child sexual abuse on girls. The article is informative on talking about how gender stereotypes affect a child, but there is no mention of any kind of abuse here.

Henrietta H. Filipas, a clinical psychologist who researches the factors for post-traumatic stress disorder, and Sarah E. Ullman, a social and developmental psychologist at the University of Illinois at Chicago, examined the factors and psychological consequences of child sexual abuse that lead to revictimization. For their study, they used 577 female college students and used a survey. The results of Filipas and Ullman’s study show that those who reported both child sexual abuse and adult sexual assault had more trauma and, suffered from substance abuse to cope, self-blamed, acted out sexually, and sought therapy. These results further solidify the findings of previous studies done, which showed that women who were sexually abused as children had a higher likelihood of developing post-traumatic stress disorder and being at risk of developing negative coping mechanisms. Filipia and Ullman’s findings were also consistent with past findings. They conclude that there’s no doubt that child sexual abuse has damaging effects on victims and they need to learn how to cope with this trauma in a healthy manner. I am using this source because it focuses in on the long-term effects and trauma of child sexual abuse. In addition to this, the negative coping mechanisms mentioned are included in one of my claims. This source with further help to emphasize how the victims struggle to deal with this trauma.

Carrie Packwood Freeman, an Associate Professor of Communications at Georgia State University, and Debra Merskin, a Professor of Media Studies at Syracuse University, both argue that fast-food advertisements are presented as more masculine than feminine. They support this argument through examples of fast-food commercials that showed scenes of extreme masculinity. This included women in the background, with little to no speaking roles, usually being sexualized. For example, in multiple Carl’s Jr commercials, women are standing there only for the male gaze. There are no commercials that show men in the same oversexualized manner as women. Information from various anthropologists is used by Freeman and Merskin to show that meat has been viewed as historically masculine for quite some time. Freeman and Merskin expressed in their conclusion that they hope that the method of advertising could be changed in the future for the empowerment of others. This source will not be used in my research paper because fast-food advertisements have no correlation with the child sexual abuse impact on girls. Children are not overly sexualized in these commercials, only adults are.

Linda J. Koenig, a psychologist, examines the link between child sexual abuse and adult sexual health outcomes. These outcomes include, but are not limited to unwanted pregnancy, STDs, HIV, Adult Sexual Violence (Revictimization). Throughout the chapters in this book, Koenig, along with the editors of this book, research the all the different consequences of trauma, such as behavioral, cognitive, social, and affective. Koenig suggests that child sexual abuse victims are more likely to deal with many negative sexual health problems and sexual risk behavior. Since this is the case, it seems that there is a strong correlation between child sexual abuse and female victims ending up with This book highlights a hidden social problem that has horrible long-term effects on those who are victims of child sexual abuse. I will use this source to give further evidence on the negative impact on women’s sexual health. The information from this book with also help to clarify what negative behaviors arise from child sexual abuse in the long-term.

Jennifer Siebel Newsom, an American documentary filmmaker, actress, and directors of documentaries claims that boys and men are being negatively impacted by toxic masculinity. This claim is supported through recorded conversations with various groups of men and boys at different ages. Men are taught to not show emotions, which negatively impacts how they deal with their emotions. Boys in discussions stated they were discouraged from doing anything that was considered girly and feminine. If they did end up doing something feminine, they would end up being bullied, which then could lead to an aggressive show of emotion from the victim. This documentary concludes by stating that society should get rid of the phrase, “man up”, because it has a negative connotation with its impact on boys. Society should just allow boys to do what they wish and express what they feel. This source will not be used in my research paper since I am focusing on females and not on boys who are negatively affected by toxic masculinity.

Jennifer Siebel Newsom, an American documentary filmmaker, actress, and director of documentaries, claims that the media puts forth the idea that a woman’s beauty and sexuality are valued over power and intelligence. Newsom begins the documentary by asking the question, how is my daughter going to be affected by the media. Throughout the documentary, Newsom includes multiple women in power and influence across various careers, who speak on their own personal experiences of sexism. Statistical evidence is also used frequently throughout the documentary to show the lack women in higher positions, especially the board of media companies. Newsom concludes her documentary by showing the viewer how we can improve the future for females through various methods, such as female empowerment and encouragement to pursue whatever girls put their minds to. The topic I am researching has to do with girls, however, not in the context of how media impacts them and the society around them.