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Drexler, P. (2009). Is There a Connection Between Childhood Trauma and Depression Among Lesbians?. J. Infant Child Adolesc. Psychother., 8(3-4):181-192.

(2009). Journal of Infant, Child & Adolescent Psychotherapy, 8(3-4):181-192

Is There a Connection Between Childhood Trauma and Depression Among Lesbians?

Peggy Drexler, Ph.D.

The author uses her study of lesbian mothers raising sons to question whether there is a connection between childhood abuse and disruptive psychological issues such as depression in adult lesbians. While finding the connection was well outside the original scope of her study, the desire of many lesbian mothers to talk about abuse in their early lives warranted further investigation into the interviews. The rarity of casual research between childhood trauma and adult depression in lesbians raises the question: why? The author posits that any study that equates orientation and psychological issues plays into the conservative/religious right arguments that lesbianism is a choice forged by negative experience and, hence, that choice can be reversed. Clinicians must overcome fears of political incorrectness and raise the visibility of possible correlations between childhood abuse and psychological stress in the lives of adult lesbians. The author encourages psychotherapists to take a harder, more nuanced look at these relationships in the hope of improving treatment. Further study of this under-served area could increase the knowledge base and thereby create a more holistic look at the possible factors in psychological stress in adult lesbians.

[This is a summary excerpt from the full text of the journal article. The full text of the document is available to journal subscribers on the publisher's website here.]

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