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Child Sexual Abuse and Compulsive Sexual Behavior: A Systematic Literature Review


Purpose of Review

Information on potential risk factors and clinical correlates of compulsive sexual behavior (CSB) may help inform more effective prevention and treatment measures. Sexual victimization, specifically, child sexual abuse (CSA), has been associated with CSB.

Recent Findings

This systematic review describes 21 studies on the relationship between CSA and CSB. Most studies identified a significant association between CSA and CSB. However, variability in measurements, potential differences in links among community versus clinical samples, relevance of research among college samples, lack of support for gender-related differences, and the need for more longitudinal designs were identified.


Research would benefit from more formalized assessments of CSB across different populations. Prevention efforts should be aimed toward individuals who experienced CSA and/or other abuse, particularly if they report engaging in risky sexual behavior. Individuals with CSB who have experienced sexual abuse may benefit from trauma-focused treatment.

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Fig. 1


Papers of particular interest, published recently, have been highlighted as: • Of importance •• Of major importance

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Research reported in this publication was supported by the National Institute on Drug Abuse of the National Institutes of Health under Award Number T32DA037801.

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Slavin, M.N., Scoglio, A.A.J., Blycker, G.R. et al. Child Sexual Abuse and Compulsive Sexual Behavior: A Systematic Literature Review. Curr Addict Rep 7, 76–88 (2020).

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  • Compulsive sexual behavior
  • Child sexual abuse