We are all born innocent and our lives are developed around the ones we love. But what if those family members we love and trust so much hurt us, our trust in relationships begins to diminish. As a child develops, their self-esteem begins to approach a level of self-knowing, dignity, and confidence. However, a child’s level of self-esteem can quickly weaken if a loved one harms it. An incestuous relationship between a child and a family member can not only harm he child physically, emotionally, and mentally but also the side effects will grow as the child turns to an adult. When a child approaches adulthood intimate relationships begin to form. However, what are the effects of intimate relationships of those who have been incest as children? This article will approach the various effects of adults in intimate relationships that have been in an incestuous relationship as a child.
I grew up in a family whose father was not only an alcoholic and a drug addict but inflicted pain and abuse on my mother, older sister and me. My older sister, whose name will not be disclosed, dealt with the harsh reality of a short but harmful incestuous relationship with my father. Victims of childhood sexual abuse experience long term difficulties including psychological, sexual, and relationship problems (Brand & Alexander, 2003). As my sister grew up into adulthood her intimate relationship failed as a result of my father. Since I never lived through my sisters experience, my knowledge of incest is not much. In hopes of me writing this article I can find much needed information to explore the impact that an incestuous relationship has on an adult that is an intimate relationship.
Psychological definition:The term encompasses, then, several categories of partners, including father, step-father, grandfather, uncles, siblings, counsins, in-laws, and what we call “quasi family” Sexual contact or interaction between family members who are not marital partners; Oral-genital contact, genital or anal penetration, genital touching of the victim by the perpetrator, any other touching of private body parts, sexual kissing and hugging; Sexually staring at the victim by the perpetrator, accidental or disguised touching of the victim's body by the perpetrator, verbal invitations to engage in sexual activity, verbal ridiculing of body parts, pornographic photography, reading of sexually explicit material to children, and exposure to inappropriate sexual activity
We regard the specific effects of the pervasive, sustained stress of incest to be most pronounced in domains of self-development, specifically in terms of the development of physical and psychological self-integrity, and the development of self-regulatory processes, particularly regulation of affect and impulse control.” Cole and Putnam (1992) Adults who were incestuously victimized by adults in their childhood often suffer from low self-esteem, difficulties in interpersonal relationships, and sexual dysfunction; and are at an extremely high risk of many mental disorders including depression, anxiety, phobic avoidance reactions, substance abuse, borderline personality disorder, and complex post-traumatic stress disorder. Incest can have serious long-term effects on its victims. One study concluded that among the survivors of incest who were victimized by their mothers, 60 percent (60%) of the women had eating disorders as did one-fourth (25%) of the men. Of the 93 women and nine men included in this study, 80 percent (80%) of the women and all of the men reported sexual problems in their adult life. In addition, almost two-thirds of the women stated that they never or rarely went to the doctor or the dentist as the examination was too terrifying for them. Posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) -- which includes amnesia, nightmares and flashbacks -- also remains prevalent among incest survivors
Infant/Toddlerhood - stated by Cole and Putnam (1992) abused infants are unlikely to have an understanding of the impropriety of sexual acts perpetrated against them but are affected by the physical trauma of acts such as attempts at penetration by a person or with an object. Preschool age 2-5 - There has been controversy about whether the developmental status of preschoolers protects them against the effects of abuse or whether it creates greater risk. Moreover, sexual abuse at this age compromises the ongoing self-organization and self-regulation that are major tasks of the period and sabotages the earlier accomplishment of infancy and toddlerhood. Childhood - In the childhood development stage is where the first sexualized contact between family member and child occurs (Cole and Putnam, 1992, p 178). As Cole and Putnam (1992) explain with the abuse challenges the likelihood of the victim’s increasing the scope of social experience and establishing a sense of self-competence in the social world beyond the home.Adolescents - Difficulties in this developmental stage are likely, and victims often has had to rely on coping through denial and dissociation, the risk for sever psychopathology is heightened.penetration by a person or with an object.
further research has been developing the age at onset has captured the attention of researchers. As stated by Cole and Putnam (1992) “age variables must be conceptualized as markers for psychological changes” (p.180). Cole and Putnam (1992) go on to explain that “the failure to recognize age as a marker representative of specific psychological changes may explain the unsatisfying results of efforts to use age variables as effective predictors” Although some research has been conducted about the age of onset, many researches still believe that more research about age of onset needs to be explored and more studies need to be developed to further the explanation of age of onset and the side effects. Since the importance of age of onset can predict the victim’s aftereffects it can also develop how the incest victim relationships can be determined. To help further research on the effect of intimate relationships of those been incest as a child, determining the age of onset will further the development and help conceptualize the various psychological changes.
While children of any age are unprepared for any sexual interaction, especially with adults, continuing research on the age of onset will focus on determining whether or not if their intimate relationships will be effected or if they are capable of maintaining a healthy adult relationship.
Psy492 M7 A2 Slide Show Presentation
Innocence LostIncest and Adult Intimate Relationships<br />Beth A. Strickland<br />April 19, 2010<br />Advanced General Psychology PSY492 XD<br />Argosy University<br />
Abstract<br />What are the effects of intimate relationships of those who have been incest as children? <br />Low Self-Esteem<br />Self-Knowing<br />Confidence<br />Physical effects<br />Mental effects<br />Emotional effects<br />Intimate relationships<br />
My Inspiration<br />estimates that 1,000,000 Americans are victims of father-daughter incest, and 16,000 new cases occur annually <br />Incest (a form of sexual abuse) is done by a familiar loved one<br />Studies conclude that 43 percent (43%) of the children who are abused are abused by family members, 33 percent (33%) are abused by someone they know, and the remaining 24 percent (24%) are sexually abused by strangers <br />“For the beautiful child I was, I grieve. For the loss and betrayal of my innocence, I grieve. For the butterflies I never chased, for the softballs I never hit ... for the little child who didn't enjoy life ... for the death of my spirit, for all these things, I grieve.” (Sofka, Carla J., 1998)<br />
What is Incest?<br />By Law: Incest is generally defined as sexual intercourse between individuals who are too closely related to marry. <br />Psychological: Incest refers to sexual contact with a person who would be considered an ineligible partner because of his blood and/or social ties to the subject and her family.<br />
Harsh Realities of Incest<br />physical and psychological trauma in the form of the actual sexual experiences, including violation of one’s body<br />extended periods of apprehension, guilt, and fear between sexual contacts<br />the loss of a trusted relationship with an emotionally significant person<br />
Different Points of Development When Being Sexual Abused<br />Infancy and toddlerhood: is the first development stage where a child discovers the world of people and the sense of right and wrong<br />Preschool years ages 2-5: At this stage feelings of guilt and shame begin to develop<br />Childhood: Childhood brings the stage of puberty and the sense of being human, as well self-criticism and awareness of feelings like shame and pride are more evident<br />Adolescents: The most salient aspect of developmental changes in adolescence is the onset of puberty and emerging sexuality<br />Early and middle adulthood : With this stage of development it is difficult to pinpoint a specific of sequences of events that mark adult social development, and the transitions in adulthood appear more self-directed than the transition of childhood <br />
Continuing Research: Age at Onset<br />Age at onset is described as age at which incest began, usually categorized as pre-or post puberty<br />Many researchers believe that the age of onset can predict the severity of aftereffects and what severe repercussions can be caused<br />The younger age at onset was indicative of more severe aftereffects<br />The older age at onset was the opposite, older age of onset caused more severe repercussions<br />
Conclusion<br />Victims of incest are often young at heart when their predator violates their rights of a normal childhood life<br />Whether an incest victim endured an isolated incident of abuse or ongoing assaults over an extended period of time, the process of recovery can be exceptionally painful and difficult.<br />Depending on the age of which incest occurs it can determine the way they will respond in adult relationships<br />Age of onset can predict the aftereffects of how the victim of incest deals with everyday occurrences of social, psychological, physical, sexual, family relations, self-esteem and relations with men and women while attempting to have a normal adulthood<br />