Creating a free account will enable you to subscribe to our daily and weekly email newsletters, as well as customize your reading experience to show only the categories most relevant to you.
Signing up only take a few minutes, so why not give it a try and see what you've been missing out on.
Not much has been known about how many young people are using sexual violence, but a new study has revealed surprising details about this issue in youths under the age of 21.
As the criminal justice system is not often involved, very little information has been collected. But this public health issue is affecting over 1 million victims and costing $127 billion a year.
The study, published in JAMA Pediatrics, employs data collected online in 2010 and 2011 from the national Growing Up With Media study.
Participants consisted of 1,058 young people aged 14 to 21-years-old who lived at home at least half of the time, and who had used the internet during the last 6 months.
For the study, youths were asked about how often they had ever:
The study revealed that 9% of the participants reported some kind of sexual violence that they had instigated in their lifetime, with 4% of them (10 females and 39 males) reporting attempted or completed rape.
Additionally, 8% reported kissing, touching or forcing contact, while 3% reported coercive sex. Another 3% attempted rape but were not successful.
The researchers report that those who instigated sexual violence tended to report more frequently that they had been exposed to media displaying sexual or violent scenarios, but they note that the results were not always statistically significant.
The authors write:
"Links between perpetration and violent sexual media are apparent, suggesting a need to monitor adolescents' consumption of this material, particularly given today's media saturation among the adolescent population."
Rather than using threats or physical force, the perpetrators reported trying to force sex using "coercive tactics" like arguing, pressuring, getting angry or using guilt.
The most common age at which a young person employed sexual violence was 16-years-old, but males were more likely to have their first incident at 15 years of age or younger.
Researchers say it was not until the ages of 18 or 19 that males and females became relatively equally represented as perpetrators. Females were more likely to prey on older victims, while males mostly chose younger victims.
The victims were usually a romantic partner, and 50% of the perpetrators said the victim was to blame for the sexual violence.
Researchers note that victim blaming is a common occurrence, while experiencing consequences is not. Most of the perpetrators reported that nobody found out about the incidents, and contact with the justice system was therefore uncommon.
The researchers write:
"Because victim blaming appears to be common while perpetrators experiencing consequences is not, there is urgent need for high school (and middle school) programs aimed at supporting bystander intervention."
They conclude their study by pointing out that as well as high societal costs, the impact of sexual violence on the victim can be high, including posttraumatic stress disorder, physical health problems and suicidal tendencies.
RAINN, the Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network provides help for victims of sexual violence in the US.
Written by Marie Ellis
Copyright: Medical News Today
Not to be reproduced without the permission of Medical News Today.
Prevalence Rates of Male and Female Sexual Violence Perpetrators in a National Sample of Adolescents, Michele L. Ybarra, MPH, PhD; Kimberly J. Mitchell, PhD, JAMA Pediatrics, doi:10.1001/jamapediatrics.2013.2629, published online 7 October 2013.
Visit our Public Health category page for the latest news on this subject.
Please use one of the following formats to cite this article in your essay, paper or report:
Ellis, Marie. "Nearly 10% of youths have instigated sexual violence, study shows." Medical News Today. MediLexicon, Intl., 8 Oct. 2013. Web.
6 Dec. 2013. <http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/267094>
Ellis, M. (2013, October 8). "Nearly 10% of youths have instigated sexual violence, study shows." Medical News Today. Retrieved from
Please note: If no author information is provided, the source is cited instead.
If you write about specific medications, operations, or procedures please do not name healthcare professionals by name.
For any corrections of factual information, or to contact the our editorial team, please use our feedback form. Please send any medical news or health news press releases to:
Note: Any medical information published on this website is not intended as a substitute for informed medical advice and you should not take any action before consulting with a health care professional. For more information, please read our terms and conditions.
This page was printed from: http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/267094.php
Visit www.medicalnewstoday.com for medical news and health news headlines posted throughout the day, every day.
© 2004-2013 All rights reserved. MNT (logo) is the registered trade mark of MediLexicon International Limited.