Sexuality-related issues in borderline personality disorder: A comprehensive review

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21 Citations (Scopus)


Objective: Sexuality is somewhat neglected in clinical research on borderline personality disorder (BPD). Method: We performed a systematic review from 1980 to November 2014 through PubMed and PsycINFO. Results: Empirical evidence underscores that childhood sexual trauma may be considered a non-specific risk factor for BPD. Furthermore, individuals with BPD also display higher sexual identity disturbances and homosexual relationships than non-BPD individuals. Moreover, patients with BPD also exhibit higher sexual impulsivity than non-BPD. In addition, sexual risk behaviours among individuals with BPD are related to increased rates of sexually transmitted diseases, unwanted pregnancies, rape and commercial sexual relationships, especially among drug abusers. Although psychotherapy is widely recommended for BPD, there has been little systematic research on the effect of these treatments with respect to co-morbid post-traumatic symptoms related to childhood sexual trauma. Conclusions: Sexuality-related issues represent a major clinical topic within this population. Findings are discussed concerning their methodological limitations and clinical implications.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)216-231
Number of pages16
JournalPersonality and Mental Health
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1 Aug 2016


  • Posttraumatic-stress-disorder
  • Ii comparison subjects
  • Transference-focused psychotherapy
  • Dialectical behavior-therapy
  • Randomized controlled-trial
  • Mental-health disparities
  • Prospective follow-up
  • Childhood maltreatment
  • Sensation seeking
  • Major depression


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