Understanding the Impact of Abuse on Men’s Risk Behavior
Funded by: Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development
Project dates: August 2016 - July 2019
Principal Investigator: Benoit, Ellen
Principal Investigator: Downing M

Childhood sexual abuse (CSA) is a critical public health issue among Black and Latino sexual minority men, as it is associated with multiple negative outcomes including substance misuse, poor mental health, revictimization, and high-risk sexual behavior. Most CSA research with sexual minority men relies on quantitative assessment that often precludes consideration of cultural variations in how formative sexual experiences are understood, are based on inconsistent or overly restrictive definitions of abuse, and therefore may fail to detect certain abusive experiences (e.g., those involving female perpetrators), which can have harmful health consequences if they remain unrecognized. This mixed-methods study overcame existing limitations by drawing on perspectives of Black and Latino sexual minority men and relevant service providers to better understand the role of, and need to include, sexual abuse histories in treatment and counseling settings, with the long-term goal of improving assessment and health outcomes.

Abstract on NIH RePORTER
Related Publications
Downing MJ, Benoit E, Steen JT (2024).
Understanding Black and Latino sexual minority men’s perspectives on assessment of sexual history in diverse health care settings
Psychological Trauma [Epub 2024 Feb 29]. doi: 10.1037/tra0001662.

Downing MJ, Benoit E, Coe L, Brown D, Steen JT (2023).
Examining cultural competency and sexual abuse training needs among service providers working with Black and Latino sexual minority men
Journal of Social Service Research , 49 (1), 79-92. doi: 10.1080/01488376.2022.2157524. PMCID: PMC10723252.

Benoit E, Downing MJ, Brown D, Coe L (2023).
Service provider interpretations of childhood sexual experiences among sexual minority men
Psychological Services, 20 (Suppl 1), 94-102. doi: 10.1037/ser0000638.

Downing MJ, Benoit E, Brown D, Coe L, Hirshfield S, Pansulla L, Carballo-Dieguez A (2020).
Early sexual experiences, mental health, and risk behavior among Black non-Hispanic and Hispanic / Latino men who have sex with men (MSM)
Journal of Child Sexual Abuse, 29 (1), 41-61. doi: 10.1080/10538712.2019.1685618. PMCID: PMC7035177.

Downing MJ, Brown D, Steen J, Benoit E (2018).
Understanding the impact of childhood sexual abuse on men’s risk behavior: Protocol for a mixed-methods study
JMIR Research Protocols, 7 (2), e62. doi: 10.2196/resprot.9071. PMCID: PMC5847822.