Sexual Abuse in Girls Leads to Later Substance Abuse

Young girls who are forced to have sex are three times more likely to develop psychiatric disorders or abuse alcohol and drugs in adulthood, than girls who are not sexually abused, researchers report. The study, which involved more than 1,400 adult female twins, found that the sibling who was abused had a consistently higher risk of psychiatric disorders, such as depression and bulimia, despite being raised in the same family and having the same genetic makeup as her sister.

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Sexually Abused Children at Risk For Subsequent Problems

Young children who have been sexually abused are significantly more likely than non-abused children to develop behavioral, educational and chronic health problems over time, according to findings published in the August issue of the Archives of Disease in Childhood. Dr. C. J. Hobbs, of St. James’s University Hospital, Leeds, UK, and colleagues studied outcomes of 140 children identified in 1989 as having been sexually abused at the age of 7 years or younger, compared with 83 other children who were classmates at the time of diagnosis.

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