Date of Submission

Spring 2011

Academic Program



Beth Gershuny

Abstract/Artist's Statement

Dissociative Identity Disorder is highly controversial as a diagnostic category. It is not studied frequently, and so we still do not know very much about the nature of the disorder. The disorder itself is also relatively uncommon, although it is deeply disabling. Throughout the research that does exist there seems to be a general consensus that extreme childhood sexual abuse (CSA) causes the disorder. Prevalence rates for child sexual abuse amongst DID populations are high, but why this is the case is still unknown. This paper takes this question—why does childhood sexual abuse seem to cause DID—and explores its implications via a literature review. It is concluded within this paper that DID serves as a coping mechanism for the experience of extreme and recurrent child sexual abuse, and therefore the etiology of DID is critical in understanding the disorder itself.

Distribution Options

Access restricted to On-Campus only

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License.

This work is protected by a Creative Commons license. Any use not permitted under that license is prohibited.

Bard Off-campus Download

Bard College faculty, staff, and students can login from off-campus by clicking on the Off-campus Download button and entering their Bard username and password.