Medicine and Health

Childhood Sexual Abuse and Adult Sexual Identity Formation: Intersection of Gender, Race, and Sexual Orientation


The article discusses the childhood sexual abuse among the heterosexual, homosexual, bisexual or queer and its casual effects on their psychological behaviors that conceptualize a sexual identity. Authors attempted to investigate whether there is a relationship between childhood sexual abuse (CSA) and non-heterosexual as a sexual identity. They found that non-heterosexual is linked to mental health issues than is linked to childhood sexual abuse issues. It is said, that individuals who experienced trauma from sexual acts are usually difficult to define because there are a varying range of non-consensual sex or rape that cannot be define interchangeably. For example, in a normative society in which we live, once thought, that once a person considered a non-heterosexual it would extend the beyond reasoning for the person becoming a non-heterosexual is the reason for the impact traumatic sexual experience with someone of the same sex. While, Dietz (2001) suggested that a heterosexist framework in which defines of a person who may be assumed that he or she is a heterosexual unless he or she experienced an impact or a traumatic event that changes his or her sexual identity.



Dolezal and Carballo-Dieguez (2002) pointed out on how the childhood sexual abuse were evaluated in which includes: ages of both child and abuser; sexual behaviors and relationship between child and abuser; and the existing forces of molestation, assaults, and rape. As reported by researchers, 25-50% of prevalence rate of CSA among non-heterosexual individuals are higher, in terms, of multiculturalism. This prevalence rates has indicated that the dichotomous variables (i.e., race, ethnicity, and gender) were being examined in a context that extends to the resiliency factors, to which, refers to persons with CSA experience to redirect their way of thinking of the impact. Although, researchers argued that the prevalence rate of CSA does not sufficiently point out the specific risk factors for clinical assessment. Therefore, authors created a criterion to gather empirical studies on specific populations, which excludes the transgendered men and women from studying general lesbian, gay, bisexual, or queer (LGBQ) population and LGBQ CSA survivors on the effects of intrapersonal and interpersonal factors. Because, researchers wants to design the clinical intervention plans, and to include the content of multiculturalism for LGBQ survivors of CSA, in that, will better define the childhood sexual abuse conception. Researchers claimed that Latino men experienced higher rate of childhood sexual abuse than the white men (Arreola, et .al 2009; Dolezal, et .al 2002). Whereas Native Americans experienced higher rates of childhood trauma than Latinas, African Americans, Asian Americans, and Caucasians in that order (Morris, et .al, 2003). In a sample, LGBQ population could not provide a strong significance of prevalence rates as the sample was not sufficient to generalize the reasoning for this population to participate the study in order for the study to be reliable (Hughes et .al, 2001, p.517). Due to economic issues that is not feasible enough for the LGBQ to be motivate to participate. Even though, it is an understanding that, the Childhood Sexual Abuse (CSA) is characterized by lack of performing the physiological functions (i.e., work, school, and community); has mental health disorders such as alcoholism, drug addiction, depression, PTSD, suicide, etc.); and engaging in unprotected sex, high number of sexual partners and other HIV-risk behaviors in which an intrapersonal and interpersonal developed overtime. So, the researchers utilized two different models that could explained the generaliability of the study. Which these models are: the Model of Gay and Lesbian Identity Formation, which refers to gay men and lesbian women come into formation of their sexual identities through the stages of identity (Cass, 1979) and the Morales Identity Formation Model for Ethnic Minority Gays and Lesbians (Morales, 1989) which refers to persons learn how to over come siliency by losing the negative emotions affected by the multicultural perspective. The differences between the models are the bias of color race, particularly to the whites, Eurocentric male populations and their thought contents were assiduous during 1979. Whereas, during 1989, both gay men and  lesbian women’s thought content were meticulous, in which, has change to a better understanding of their sexual identity. Particularly, the Morale (1989) model of the stages of identity in sequence patterns that synthesizes the thought contents from being denial of conflicts to integrating the various communities. In addition to, the strengths of resiliency factors in supporting LGBQ individuals from discrimination and prejudice of their racial, ethnic, or cultural identity. Since, these individuals felt stigmatized to talk about their sexuality preferences to the society or to the community of color and or to the faith community.


All of the studies that exhibited the perception of sexuality preference status was advocating the idea of how gay men and lesbian women should report its sexual abuse problems that continue put themselves into depression because of the limitations of the sample size that could not verify the reliability of the data and could not generalize the data based on the small sample size. The models used to assess the stages of identity formation are the theories that a researcher can review in a qualitative study. However, this qualitative study is not useful to researchers who wanted to use quantitative empirical data to interpret the variables (models) such as persons who utilized the Model of Gay and Lesbian Identity Formation sequences and compare to the persons who utilized the Morales Identity Formation Model for Ethnic Minority Gays and Lesbians to examine the relevance of other precedence studies to find correlations between the reliability and validity of the data. However, the article provided a sufficient quantitative research studies to create a hypothesis question from the given models. The writing appeared to be easy to follow and easy to read; the tone of the article is clear, but they missed out the visuals as it would be helpful to the researchers.


Walker, M., Hernandez, A. & Davey, M. (2012) Childhood Sexual Abuse and Adult Sexual Identity Formation: Intersection of Gender Race, and Sexual Orientation. The American Journal of Family Therapy. 40: 385-398.