Gender-Related Differences in Associations Between Sexual Abuse and Hypersexuality

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Journal of Sexual Medicine


Background: Individuals with histories of sexual abuse may be more likely to experience sexual-related problems including hypersexuality, but gender-related differences remain unclear. Aim: This online study examined sexual abuse history and hypersexuality by gender among 16,823 Hungarian adults, adjusting for age, sexual orientation, relationship status, education, employment status, and residence. Methods: An online questionnaire on one of the largest Hungarian news portals advertised this study examining sexual activities in January 2017. 3 categorizations of age-related sexual abuse were examined: child sexual abuse (CSA) occurring at age 13 and earlier (compared to no abuse), adolescent/adult sexual abuse (AASA; compared to no abuse), and CSA and AASA (CSA/AASA; compared to one age-related category of abuse or the other). Outcomes: The outcome variable, hypersexuality, was examined as a continuous variable due to the low prevalence of clinical hypersexuality in this sample. 3 multivariate linear regression analyses adjusting for covariates aimed to predict hypersexuality from each category of abuse, along with gender and its interaction with each category. Results: In all models, younger age, non-heterosexual sexual orientation, male gender, single relationship status, less than full-time work, and living in a capital city were associated with hypersexuality, and education was not a significant predictor. CSA, AASA, and CSA/AASA predicted hypersexuality in both men and women. There was a significant interaction between CSA/AASA and gender, such that the relationship between CSA/AASA and hypersexuality was stronger in men than in women. Clinical Translation: Sexual abuse at each developmental time-point may influence hypersexuality among men and women, although the cumulative impact of CSA and AASA on hypersexuality may be particularly relevant among men. Strengths & Limitations: This is one of the largest studies to examine gender-related differences in the relationship between sexual abuse and hypersexuality. Nevertheless, our study is cross-sectional, and longitudinal work is needed to determine how sexual abuse affects children, adolescents, and adults throughout their lives. Conclusion: Developmental impacts of sexual abuse may be considered in a gender-informed fashion in order to develop and optimize effective prevention and treatment strategies for hypersexuality.


Hypersexuality; Childhood Sexual Abuse; Adolescent/Adult Sexual Abuse; Gender; Victimization; Compulsive Sexual Behavior Disorder


Medicine and Health Sciences | Psychiatry and Psychology



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