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Perceived Help and Support for Sex as Self-Injury: A Qualitative Study of a Swedish Sample
Linköpings universitet.
Marie Cederschiöld University, Department of Social Sciences.
2023 (English)In: Archives of Sexual Behavior, ISSN 0004-0002, E-ISSN 1573-2800, Vol. 52, no 1, p. 149-160Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Earlier research has found that sexual acts could be used as a means of self-injury, with comparable functions to nonsuicidal self-injury (NSSI) such as cutting or burning the skin. However, no previous study has investigated the experience of help and support in relation to sex as a means of self-injury (SASI), which this study aims to investigate. The study was based on an anonymous open-ended questionnaire published from December 2016 to April 2017 on the websites of NGOs working with help and support for women and youths in Sweden. In total, 197 participants (mostly women, mean age 27.9 years, range 15-64 years) with self-reported experiences of SASI were included in the study. Three main themes were found concerning experiences of help and support for SASI. The need for: (1) Framing the behavior of SASI, to find a word for SASI-to know it exists, to get questions and information about SASI and its function; (2) Flexible, respectful, and professional help and support from an early age, to be listened to and confirmed in one's experience of SASI; and (3) Help with underlying reasons to exit SASI such as finding one's own value and boundaries through conventional therapy, through life itself, or through therapy for underlying issues such as earlier traumatic events, PTSD, dissociation, or anxiety. In conclusion, similar interventions could be helpful for SASI as for NSSI, irrespective of the topographical differences between the behaviors, but the risk of victimization and traumatization must also be addressed in SASI.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Springer, 2023. Vol. 52, no 1, p. 149-160
Keywords [en]
Indirect self-injury, Nonsuicidal self-injury, PTSD, Sex as self-injury, Sexual abuse
National Category
Social Work
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:esh:diva-9858DOI: 10.1007/s10508-022-02437-xISI: 000859203902322PubMedID: 36261736OAI: oai:DiVA.org:esh-9858DiVA, id: diva2:1706131
Available from: 2022-10-25 Created: 2022-10-25 Last updated: 2024-02-09Bibliographically approved

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Jonsson, Linda S

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