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Trauma and Sexuality

Recent longitudinal studies by Robert Pynoos and associates have reported endemic levels of multiple traumas experienced by youth with consequences in the areas of impulsivity, attachment problems, dissociation, and negative self-image. Each of these difficulties will influence sexual development, such that practically all individuals with unresolved developmental trauma will have some relational-sexual difficulties. When the trauma includes attachment trauma, in which the persons who are designated to love, take care of, and teach children are the ones who hurt, abuse, neglect, or abandon them, the core schema of trust, safety, power, control, and intimacy are injured, affecting the vulnerability implicit in partner sexuality. Affected individuals go through cycles of avoidance of closeness and intimacy, followed by bingeing in an overdependent way, resulting in hyposexualities and ...

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