Document Type


Publication Date



Eberly College of Arts and Sciences


Social Work


Data from 2,828 female and 1,556 male adult participants from a general population convenience sample were used to measure the effect of the sex of the perpetrator on the adult sexual orientation of the victims of child sexual abuse (CSA) by adult male or female perpetrators and early incest with parents or early incest with siblings. Sexual behaviors with female perpetrators tended to promote an orientation toward sex with females and analogous behaviors with male perpetrators tended to promote an orientation toward sex with males in victims of both sexes. Many forms of incest or CSA increased the likelihood the victims would subsequently engage in behaviors with other partners or begin masturbating using adult male or female images. The subsequent early behaviors with other partners and masturbating using images of both male and female adults significantly enhanced or attenuated the conditioning resulting from interacting with the initial perpetrator. The victims’ adult sexual orientations could be statistically predicted using regression equations that took into account the sexual behaviors with both adult and underage partners and whether or not the participant had masturbated using images of male or female adults. The results were consistent with conditioning and counter-conditioning theories.

Source Citation

Stroebel, S. S., O’Keefe, S. L., Griffee, K., Harper-Dorton, K. V., Beard, K. W., Young, D. H., Swindell, S., Stroupe, W. E., Steele, K., Lawhon, M., & Kuo, S.-Y. (2019). Effects of the sex of the perpetrator on victims’ subsequent sexual behaviors and adulthood sexual orientations. Cogent Psychology, 5(1).


© 2019 The Author(s). This open access article is distributed under a Creative Commons Attribution (CC-BY) 4.0 license.



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