|Top: Arn Schilder
(seated) with Nancy McLean and Martin Schechter
at the 2001 CAHR Conference in Toronto.
Bottom: Martin viewing Arn's posters.
To examine correlates of childhood sexual abuse among young gay and bisexual men in Vancouver.
Since May 1995, young gay and bisexual seronegative men aged 15 to 30 have been recruited into an ongoing prospective study of HIV incidence and risk behaviors in the Greater Vancouver region.
Eligible participants for this particular analysis were either HIV-negative or HIV-positive participants who completed a questionnaire between Sept. '99 and Oct. 2000.
For the purpose of this analysis, self-reported data were examined including sexual abuse, demographic characteristics, sexual behaviours, injection drug use, previous history of institutionalization, mood disorders and suicidal ideation.
Sexual abuse was defined according to Finklehor's "Community Standards" definitions.
We identified 459 men who fit the criteria for this analysis. Of the 459 participants included in this analysis, 166 (36%) reported having been sexually abused as a child.
Demographic characteristics: Participants who had been abused were more likely to be Aboriginal (16.5% vs. 4.9%; p <0.001); live in unstable housing (17.9% vs. 7.6%; p=0.001); have less than a high school education (24.2% vs. 9.0%; p <0.001); and be unemployed (38.4% vs. 19.3%; p<0.001).
Risk behaviours (Table 1): Sexually abused participants were also more like to have ever been paid for sex (49.4% vs. 21.2%; p<0.001); to have ever injected drugs (26.1% vs. 8.9%; p <0.001); to have first had consensual sex with a man at a younger age (16 [14-18] vs. 19 [17-21]; p<0.001); and to have casual sex partners in the past year (84.6% vs. 74.6%; p=0.015).
Institutional care (Table 2): Sexually abused participants were more likely to have ever attempted suicide (64.4% vs. 49.5%; p=0.002); been diagnosed with a mood disorder (35.4% vs. 24.8%; p=0.018); been in a group home (24.7% vs. 5.0%; p<0.001); been in a detention centre (20.3% vs. 5.0% p<0.001); and been in a psychiatric ward (10.5% vs. 5.0%; p=0.031).
Multivariate logistic regression model (Table 3): Childhood sexual abuse was independently associated with having had consensual sex with a man before age 18 (OR: 4.6; 95%CI: 2.9-7.4); having ever been in a group home (OR: 4.4; 95%CI: 2.2-8.9); and having had a casual male partner in the past year (OR: 2.0; 95%CI: 1.1-3.6).
Childhood sexual abuse is an important issue for health care
service providers. Over a third of our cohort reported having
been sexual abused as a child. Childhood sexual abuse was correlated
with age at first sexual contact, having ever lived in a group
home and having had casual sex in the past year.