An adult female sample of childhood sexual abuse survivors (N=467) were surveyed to determine whether internalized shame moderated the effects of sexual inhibited difficulties. Other variables such as severity, duration, and frequency of sexual abuse, as well as whether physical abuse was also part of their experience, were examined to determine their role in later sexual inhibition. It was predicted that there would be a significant positive relationship between 1) Scores on variables of physical abuse, severity of abuse, frequency of abuse, duration of abuse, identity of the perpetrator and scores on the variable of inhibited sexual difficulties; 2) Scores of internalized shame and scores of inhibited sexual difficulties and 3) Scores on variable of physical abuse, severity of abuse, frequency of abuse, duration of abuse, identity of the perpetrator and scores on the variables of internalized shame. Through Structural Equation Modeling using AMOS, the results indicated a statistically significant positive relationship between severity, frequency and inhibited sexual disturbances but found no direct relationship between physical abuse, the identity of the perpetrator, the duration of the abuse and inhibited sexual disturbances. Results also indicated that shame had a direct positive relationship to inhibited sexual disturbances. The third finding was that physical abuse and severity of abuse had a significant positive relationship with shame which implies that shame is a moderating variable for inhibited sexual disturbances in adult women survivors of childhood sexual abuse. Internalized shame may be an important factor for therapists to consider in helping survivors overcome sexual inhibition as a result of childhood sexual abuse. If a woman develops a shame-prone identity she may be at risk for experiencing inhibition in her sexuality.
College and Department
Family, Home, and Social Sciences; Family Life; Marriage and Family Therapy
BYU ScholarsArchive Citation
Robinson, Kristine, "Internalized Shame as a Moderating Variable for Inhibited Sexual Difficulties in Adult Women Resulting From Childhood Sexual Abuse" (2006). Theses and Dissertations. 432.
sexual abuse, shame, inhibited sexual difficulties, promiscuity, severity of abuse, physical abuse, low sex drive, frequency of abuse, confused sexual feelings, bad feelings during sex, sexual problems