This proposal describes a research program that focusses on the antecedents and consequences of a range of women's voluntary and abusive sexual experiences in multi ethnic samples. A major epidemiological study was conducted to obtain information regarding the relationship of sexual socialization, sexual behaviors and women's psychological well being. Some of the findings revealed fewer ethnic differences in the prevalence and circumstance of sexual abuse but significant differences in voluntary sexual practices and in decision making about family planning issues. However, abusive experiences before the age 18 were also found to influence the early onset and frequency of adolescent and adult sexual activity as well as decisions about family planning. Several research projects are proposed to build upon these findings, in order to construct models for research and for theory development. As part of the previous research, the Wyatt Sex History Questionnaire will be modified and made available to mental health professionals and researchers who wish to take an indepth sexual history on multi ethnic samples. Two studies including the Mosher Sex Guilt Scale will be conducted in order to identify its utility with multi ethnic community samples ranging across demographic variables. Secondary analyses of the previous findings are proposed to determine which of a variety of factors influences women's psychological well being using path analyses and structural modeling. A longitudinal study of verified child victims of pornography, child sexual abuse and children with unsubstantiated child abuse will examine short and long term effects on children's cognitive, psychological, behavioral and sexual functioning and the impact of involvement with the legal and children's protective services systems. A three year longitudinal study of Afro-American and White American 16 and 17 year old adolescents and their mothers is also proposed to observe on-going sexual socialization and sexual decision making and to test relationships and theories already established in previous work. Finally, a 5 year training grant is proposed in Law, Psychiatry and Human Sexuality to train post doctoral fellows in many of the areas which have been the focus of my research and training during the Level I Award and to consolidate clinical practice and research in a number of areas related to sex research.
|Le Franc, E; Wyatt, G E; Chambers, C et al. (1996) Working women's sexual risk taking in Jamaica. Soc Sci Med 42:1411-7|