Psychology, Department of
Sexual compulsivity, erectile dysfunction, and suicidality among male survivors of military sexual violence
Date of this Version
Blais, R. K., Xu, B., Hoyt, T., Lorenz, T., & Monteith, L. L. (2022). Sexual compulsivity, erectile dysfunction, and suicidality among male survivors of military sexual violence. Journal of Traumatic Stress, 1–12. https://doi.org/10.1002/jts.22872
Although military sexual trauma (MST) is associated with an increased risk of suicide, suicide attempts, and suicidal ideation among service members and veterans, there is limited knowledge regarding the mechanisms of MST and suicidality among men. The current study examined whether MST was associated with sexual compulsivity and/or erectile dysfunction and if these, in turn, explained elevated suicidal thoughts and the likelihood of engaging in future suicidal behavior after accounting for mental health, military, and demographic characteristics. Servicemembers and veteranswho reported their gender as male (N = 508) were recruited via social media and completed online self-report measures assessing MST, erectile dysfunction, sexual compulsivity, suicidal ideation frequency, and the likelihood of engaging in future suicidal behavior. Path analysis was used to examine the study hypotheses. In total, 67 participants (13.2%) reported a history of MST; of these individuals, 27 (40.3%) reported suicidal ideation in the past 12 months, and 29 (43.9%) reported an increased likelihood of engaging in future suicidal behavior. MST was associated with increased sexual compulsivity, which, in turn, predicted more frequent suicidal ideation as well as a higher self-reported likelihood of engaging in future suicidal behavior. MST was associated with higher levels of erectile dysfunction, but erectile dysfunction was not associated with suicidal ideation in the adjusted model. Although the data were cross-sectional, precluding determinations of causality, the results support assessing and intervening with regard to sexual compulsivity tomitigate the risk for suicide-related outcomes among men who experience MST.
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