Psychology ETDs

Publication Date



This study examined the associations among sexual minority status, adult sexual victimization, childhood experiences of abuse and neglect, coping strategies, and psychopathology in womens sexual assault experiences. One hundred and seventy-seven women (n = 177) were recruited via the Internet to complete an online study asking them about their most distressing/severe sexual victimization experience. Non-parametric tests were used to examine associations among the variables. There were significant associations between sexual minority status and both victimization severity and sexual revictimization, with sexual minority status being associated with higher levels of victimization severity and a higher likelihood of being revictimized. There were no statistically significant differences between sexual minority and heterosexual women in terms of contextual features of their most distressing/severe sexual victimization experience and the contextual features of their post-assault experience. Additionally, there were no differences between the groups with respect to childhood abuse and neglect, coping strategies, and psychopathology. Nonetheless, sexual victimization is a major public health concern, and findings from this study provided valuable information about sexual minority women's victimization experiences, yet more research needs to be conducted with sexual minority women.

Degree Name


Level of Degree


Department Name


First Committee Member (Chair)

Venner, Kamilla

Second Committee Member

Verney, Steven




sexual victimization, sexual assault, sexual minority women, lesbian, bisexual, coping, psychopathology

Document Type