The Psychology of Trauma

Sexual Abuse

Is sexual abuse transmitted across generations?

Like many forms of child abuse, sexual abuse can be transmitted across generations. Adults who were abused as children can grow up to either abuse their own children or partner with someone who will abuse the children. Again, this is not to say that all childhood sexual abuse victims will grow up to abuse their own children. A large proportion of people who were sexually abused in childhood do not pass on their abuse experiences to their own children. Nonetheless, parents of abused children are more likely to have their own abuse histories than are parents of non-abused children.


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