The effects of childhood trauma on sex trading in substance using women

Krishna Vaddiparti, Jane Bogetto, Catina Callahan, Arbi B. Abdallah, Edward L. Spitznagel, Linda B. Cottler

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

50 Scopus citations

Abstract

This article presents a model developed to understand the relationship between childhood victimization, perpetration of violence, and later cocaine dependence and adult sex trading among drug using women. A cohort of heavy drinking and drug using women (N=594) recruited for two on-going community based HIV prevention studies in St. Louis City was analyzed to evaluate this association using path analysis. The women were stratified into two groups: sex traders and non-sex traders. Sex traders were more likely than non-sex traders to report being forced to kiss or touch someone in a sexual way before age 15 (35% vs. 22%), being kissed or touched in a sexual way by others when they did not want to be (42% vs. 31%), and being forced to have sexual intercourse (30% vs. 21%). Sex traders were more likely than non-sex traders to use a weapon or threaten someone with a weapon (29% vs. 18%) and physically hurt others on purpose before age 15 (9% vs. 5%). Path analysis confirmed that childhood victimization had a significant and direct association with both adult cocaine dependence and sex trading. However, the association between childhood perpetration and adult sex trading was mediated by cocaine dependence. This analysis concludes that childhood victimization was the strongest predictor of cocaine dependence and sex trading in adulthood.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)451-459
Number of pages9
JournalArchives of Sexual Behavior
Volume35
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Aug 2006

Keywords

  • Childhood trauma
  • Cocaine dependence
  • Sex trading
  • Violence

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