Effects of mother-son incest and positive perceptions of sexual abuse
experiences on the psychosocial adjustment of clinic-referred men.
Kelly RJ, Wood JJ, Gonzalez LS, MacDonald V, Waterman J
Child Abuse Neglect 2002 Apr; 26(4):425-41
OBJECTIVE: The primary objective was to examine the long-term impact of mother-son incest and positive initial perceptions of sexual abuse experiences on adult male psychosocial functioning. METHOD: Sixty-seven clinic-referred men with a history of sexual abuse participated. The participants completed self-report measures regarding their current
psychosocial functioning and described the nature of their sexual and physical abuse experiences during childhood. RESULTS: Seventeen men reported mother-son incest, and these men endorsed more trauma symptoms than did other sexually abused men, even after controlling for a history of multiple perpetrators and physical abuse. Mother-son incest was likely to be subtle, involving behaviors that may be difficult to distinguish from normal caregiving (e.g., genital touching), despite the potentially serious long-term consequences. Twenty-seven men recalled positive or mixed initial perceptions of the abuse, including about half of the men who had been abused by their mothers. These men reported more adjustment problems than did men who recalled purely negative initial perceptions.
From: Department of Psychology, University of California, Los Angeles, USA.