Traumatized Sexuality: Understanding and Predicting Profiles of Sexual Behaviors Using Childhood Abuse and Trauma Measures

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


In the current study we sought to identify sexual behavior profiles and examine the levels of childhood abuse history and trauma measures in each profile. The study was conducted among a large non-clinical sample of men and women (n = 806). Latent profile analysis was employed to identify distinct profiles of sexual behaviors and then childhood abuse, posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), depression, and anxiety, and motives for engaging in sex were assessed in each profile. Four distinct profiles of sexual behavior were identified: hyposexual individuals, hypersexual porn users, porn users, and within usual ranges (WURs). Hypersexual porn users had significantly more childhood trauma (emotional, physical, and sexual) than WURs, significantly greater PTSD symptom than WURs and hyposexual individuals, and significantly greater anxiety and depression as compared with all other groups. The hyposexual individuals had significantly lower scores on all motives for engaging in sex than did porn users or hypersexual porn users. Hypersexual porn users and porn users reported coping and peer-pressure as motives for engaging in sex more than did WURs or hyposexual individuals. Clinicians working with survivors of childhood abuse should consider directly targeting these different maladaptive sexual behaviors by addressing PTSD symptoms, affective disorders, and motives for engaging in sex.

Original languageEnglish
JournalChild Maltreatment
Early online date29 Dec 2022
StateE-pub ahead of print - 29 Dec 2022

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© The Author(s) 2022.


  • childhood abuse
  • hypersexuality
  • hyposexuality
  • latent profile analysis
  • posttraumatic stress disorder
  • traumatized sex

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health


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