-There is also some evidence that childhood physical abuse, like childhood sexual abuse, can
predispose adolescents toward multiple sex partners.
-Like childhood sexual abuse, then, childhood physical abuse could inhibit the formation of
lasting adult unions.
-However, childhood sexual abuse may have the larger inhibiting effect because of its direct con-
sequences for sexual functioning and behavior.
Physical and Sexual Abuse by intimate partners in adulthood:
THEORETICAL MECHANISMS AND HYPOTHESES:
-Some women seemed to have withdrawn from serious relationships with men altogether, a
pattern we will call abated unions.
-Because it is easier to leave a cohabiting relationship than a marriage, women who have
experienced abuse and wish to maintain an exit route from relationships may prefer
cohabitation to marriage.
-In addition, the personal and social resources that women can draw upon may influence union-
-Women who successfully resist abusive men must be resourceful.
-They must actively solve problems, respond quickly, and negotiate firmly.
-Those who bring more psychological resources to their adult intimate relationships and who
have more social support in adulthood will be more likely to separate themselves from
potentially abusive men.
-Childhood abuse may erode psychological resources by engendering feelings of self-blame, guilt,
low self-esteem, and depressive symptoms.
-In adulthood, a support network of kin and friends may provide a crucial social resource that
allows women to avoid and escape from abusive relationships.
-1. Women who haven ever been abused will be more likely to show a pattern of sustained,
long-term unions than women who have experienced abuse.
-2. Women with a history of childhood abuse, particularly childhood sexual abuse, will be more
likely to manifest a pattern of frequent, short-term non-marital relationships, compared to
women who have not experienced childhood abuse.
-3. Women who were not abused in childhood but encounter abuse in adulthood will be more
likely to show a pattern of abated unions, relative to women who were abused in childhood and
who also encounter abuse in adulthood.
-Both sets of data suggest that women who have been abused are substantially less likely to be in
sustained marital or cohabiting unions.
-Childhood abuse, and particularly childhood sexual abuse, is associated with a pattern in which
women are less likely to be in a stable marriage or a long-term cohabiting relationship but are
instead more likely to experience multiple short-term unions.
-Adult abuse, and particularly adult physical abuse, on the other hand, is associated with a
reduction in the probability of being in either form of union.