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Minerva Psichiatrica 2001 December;42(4):245-56

Copyright © 2001 EDIZIONI MINERVA MEDICA

language: Italian

Unwanted sexual experiences and eating disorders. Psychotherapeutic implications

Munno D., Kornmuller A. M., Barbantini M., Zullo G.


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Background. Our many objective was to explore the presence of unwanted sexual experience (USE) in an eating disorder group of outpatients, under individual psychotherapeutic treatment, and to analyse the variables that could be linked with the different types of reported experiences and their use in psychotherapy.
Methods. The inquiry methodology used is a variation of the Sexual Event Questionnaire (SEQ) presented, in a self-reporting form, to 40 female outpatients meeding DSM-IV criteria for Eating Disorders (20 anorexic and 20 bulimic subjects) and 20 women not affected by any psychiatric disorder according to the DSM-IV.
Results. Results suggest that anorexic and bulimic subjects have been submitted to more unwanted sexual experiences involving physical contact and physical force than the subjects of the control group. The identify of the abuser more frequently reported by the controls was ''stranger'' and by the ''eating disorder'' subjects was ''friend of the same age''. The anorexic group reported more frequently than bulimic and control subjects that they have been sexual abused by their partners.
Conclusions. All these findings should be significant in perpetuating the eating disorder and causing its symptoms to become chronic: these data could be a starting point to re-elaborate these experiences by means of a new emotive-cognitive corrective context into the therapeutic relationship during the psychotherapy of these patients.

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