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Self-reported frequency of sex as self-injury (SASI) in a national study of Swedish adolescents and association to sociodemographic factors, sexual behaviors, abuse and mental health

Fredlund, Cecilia ; Svedin, Carl Göran LU ; Priebe, Gisela LU ; Jonsson, Linda and Wadsby, Marie (2017) In Child and Adolescent Psychiatry and Mental Health 11(1).
Abstract

Background: Sex as self-injury has become a concept in Swedish society; however it is a largely unexplored area of research, not yet conceptualized and far from accepted in the research field. The use of sex as a way of affect regulation is known in the literature and has, in interviews with young women who sell sex, been compared to direct self-injury, such as cutting or burning the skin. The aim of this study was to investigate the self-reported frequency of sex as self-injury and the association to sociodemographic factors, sexual orientation, voluntary sexual experiences, sexual risk-taking behaviors, sexual, physical and mental abuse, trauma symptoms, healthcare for psychiatric disorders and non-suicidal self-injury. Methods: A... (More)

Background: Sex as self-injury has become a concept in Swedish society; however it is a largely unexplored area of research, not yet conceptualized and far from accepted in the research field. The use of sex as a way of affect regulation is known in the literature and has, in interviews with young women who sell sex, been compared to direct self-injury, such as cutting or burning the skin. The aim of this study was to investigate the self-reported frequency of sex as self-injury and the association to sociodemographic factors, sexual orientation, voluntary sexual experiences, sexual risk-taking behaviors, sexual, physical and mental abuse, trauma symptoms, healthcare for psychiatric disorders and non-suicidal self-injury. Methods: A representative national sample of 5750 students in the 3rd year of Swedish high school, with a mean age of 18 years was included in the study. The study was questionnaire-based and the response rate was 59.7%. Mostly descriptive statistics were used and a final logistic regression model was made. Results: Sex as self-injury was reported by 100 (3.2%) of the girls and 20 (.8%) of the boys. Few correlations to sociodemographic factors were noted, but the group was burdened with more experiences of sexual, physical and emotional abuse. Non-heterosexual orientation, trauma symptoms, non-suicidal self-injury and healthcare for suicide attempts, depression and eating disorders were common. Conclusions: Sex used as self-injury seems to be highly associated with earlier traumas such as sexual abuse and poor mental health. It is a behavior that needs to be conceptualized in order to provide proper help and support to a highly vulnerable group of adolescents.

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author
; ; ; and
organization
publishing date
type
Contribution to journal
publication status
published
subject
keywords
Adolescents, Indirect self-injury, Non-suicidal self-injury (NSSI), Revictimization, Self-harm, Selling sex, Sex as self-injury (SASI), Sexual abuse, Trauma
in
Child and Adolescent Psychiatry and Mental Health
volume
11
issue
1
article number
9
publisher
BioMed Central (BMC)
external identifiers
  • pmid:28265299
  • wos:000395328600001
  • scopus:85014065113
ISSN
1753-2000
DOI
10.1186/s13034-017-0146-7
language
English
LU publication?
yes
id
06a648a9-9980-40d4-9389-58dd727d2317
date added to LUP
2017-03-13 10:05:07
date last changed
2024-05-12 10:04:11
@article{06a648a9-9980-40d4-9389-58dd727d2317,
  abstract     = {{<p>Background: Sex as self-injury has become a concept in Swedish society; however it is a largely unexplored area of research, not yet conceptualized and far from accepted in the research field. The use of sex as a way of affect regulation is known in the literature and has, in interviews with young women who sell sex, been compared to direct self-injury, such as cutting or burning the skin. The aim of this study was to investigate the self-reported frequency of sex as self-injury and the association to sociodemographic factors, sexual orientation, voluntary sexual experiences, sexual risk-taking behaviors, sexual, physical and mental abuse, trauma symptoms, healthcare for psychiatric disorders and non-suicidal self-injury. Methods: A representative national sample of 5750 students in the 3rd year of Swedish high school, with a mean age of 18 years was included in the study. The study was questionnaire-based and the response rate was 59.7%. Mostly descriptive statistics were used and a final logistic regression model was made. Results: Sex as self-injury was reported by 100 (3.2%) of the girls and 20 (.8%) of the boys. Few correlations to sociodemographic factors were noted, but the group was burdened with more experiences of sexual, physical and emotional abuse. Non-heterosexual orientation, trauma symptoms, non-suicidal self-injury and healthcare for suicide attempts, depression and eating disorders were common. Conclusions: Sex used as self-injury seems to be highly associated with earlier traumas such as sexual abuse and poor mental health. It is a behavior that needs to be conceptualized in order to provide proper help and support to a highly vulnerable group of adolescents.</p>}},
  author       = {{Fredlund, Cecilia and Svedin, Carl Göran and Priebe, Gisela and Jonsson, Linda and Wadsby, Marie}},
  issn         = {{1753-2000}},
  keywords     = {{Adolescents; Indirect self-injury; Non-suicidal self-injury (NSSI); Revictimization; Self-harm; Selling sex; Sex as self-injury (SASI); Sexual abuse; Trauma}},
  language     = {{eng}},
  month        = {{02}},
  number       = {{1}},
  publisher    = {{BioMed Central (BMC)}},
  series       = {{Child and Adolescent Psychiatry and Mental Health}},
  title        = {{Self-reported frequency of sex as self-injury (SASI) in a national study of Swedish adolescents and association to sociodemographic factors, sexual behaviors, abuse and mental health}},
  url          = {{http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s13034-017-0146-7}},
  doi          = {{10.1186/s13034-017-0146-7}},
  volume       = {{11}},
  year         = {{2017}},
}