Does physical intimate partner violence affect sexual health? A systematic review

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323 Scopus citations


Forty years of published research (1966-2006) addressing physical intimate partner violence (IPV) and sexual health was reviewed (51 manuscripts) and synthesized to determine (a) those sexual health indicators for which sufficient evidence is available to suggest a causal association and (b) gaps in the literature for which additional careful research is needed to establish causality and explain mechanisms for these associations. Sexual health was defined as a continuum of indicators of gynecology and reproductive health. IPV was consistently associated with sexual risk taking, inconsistent condom use, or partner nonmonogamy (23 of 27 studies), having an unplanned pregnancy or induced abortion (13 of 16 studies), having a sexually transmitted infection (17 of 24 studies), and sexual dysfunction (17 of 18 studies). A conceptual model was presented to guide further needed research addressing direct and indirect mechanisms by which physical, sexual, and psychological IPV affects sexual health.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)149-177
Number of pages29
JournalTrauma, Violence, and Abuse
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 2007


  • Cervical neoplasms
  • Contraception
  • Hysterectomy
  • Infertility
  • Partner violence
  • Pelvic pain
  • Review
  • Sexual health
  • Sexually transmitted infections
  • Spouse abuse
  • Unsafe sex
  • Urinary tract infections

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health(social science)
  • Applied Psychology
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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