Qualitative, interpretive research was conducted with ten adult women who felt that their experiences of learning about themselves as female and sexual had been harmful. The term "victimizing sexualization" was developed to identify this experience, and a thematic description of these women's experiences was derived. Components of their experiences were described within four major categories, including perceptions and descriptions directly related to abuse experiences, home and family environments, community and cultural characteristics, and longer term personal impacts. This article reports on two of the major thematic categories: perceptions and descriptions related to abuse experiences and home and family environment. Findings of this study establish "victimizing sexualization" as a meaningful women's health construct with important connections to feminist perspectives on women's lives.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
Received 23 August 1996; accepted 11 November 1997. Special thanks to the dissertation advisors, Dr. Margaret Newman and Dr. Betty Lia-Hoagberg, and to the women who participated in this study. Partial funding was provided by the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire, Small Research and FacultyBtudent Collaboration programs. Address correspondence to Sheila K. Smith, PhD, MSN, RN, School of Nursing, University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire, Eau Claire, WI 547024004. USA. E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org