Publication Date


Document Type

Masters Thesis


School for Social Work


Adult child sexual abuse victims-Psychology, Child sexual abuse-Psychological aspects, Gays-Psychology, Sexual minorities-Psychology, Sexual abuse, Sexual assault, Sexual victimization, Queer, LGBT, Transgender, Childhood abuse, Juvenile sexual assault, Exploratory


This exploratory study engages with the experiences of queer adults following childhood sexual victimization (CSV), with particular attention to issues and situations that may implicate both their queer identity and history of CSV. These issues include possible messages that participants received about CSV and queer identities; the impact of CSV on coming out; resiliency and support systems; and, whether participants engaged with queer-affirmative resources or persons in the process of healing from CSV. Intersectional theory was applied in conceptualizing this study and analyzing data, as this theory puts particular attention on the ways that multiple social identities interact influencing one's experiences. Participants were interviewed using a semi-structured, open-ended format. Narrative data was analyzed using a thematic analysis with a grounded theory approach. The study's findings demonstrate a need for practice and resources that affirmatively and appropriately address queer survivors, as well as some restraint in making assumptions about survivors' experiences and needs based on their social identities. Notably, as this research is inclusive of all queer-identities, it is the first qualitative study that includes the experiences of transgender survivors following CSV. Ultimately, the results of this study will be used to create healing resources (such as books and websites) and recommendations for treatment approaches for queer survivors of CSV.




ii, 213 pages : color illustrations. Thesis (M.S.W.)-Smith College School for Social Work, 2014. Includes bibliographical references (pages 175-192)