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NCJ Number: 202824 Find in a Library
Title: Nature and Predictors of Sexual Victimization and Offending Among Adolescents
Journal: Journal of Youth and Adolescence  Volume:32  Issue:6  Dated:December 2003  Pages:465-477
Author(s): Christopher D. Maxwell; Amanda L. Robinson; Lori A. Post
Editor(s): Daniel Offer
Date Published: December 2003
Page Count: 13
Type: Report (Study/Research)
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This study focused on high school students, measuring the frequency and nature of sexual victimization and aggression within this age group in order to better understand sexual aggression among adolescents.
Abstract: To date, policymakers and prevention programs have derived most of their knowledge and understanding of sexual assault victims and offenders from research conducted on adults. This has led to an open field in learning about the nature of sexual aggression among adolescents. This study describes the risk factors associated with experiencing and committing sexual aggression among a sample of male and female adolescents. A self-report survey was administered to 476 students enrolled in 2 high schools. It included both an urban and a rural high school. The survey instrument consisted of five sections: (1) assessed students’ background characteristics, such as age, race, religion, and plans for attending college; (2) students’ dating behaviors, such as frequency of dating and the number of different people the student dated; and (3-5) assessed student attitudes regarding rape. Study results show that a majority of females experienced at least 1 act of sexual coercion, about 1 in 4 experienced sexual assault at a criminal level, and more than 1 in 10 experienced rape. Males in the study did not report sexual aggression equal to the rate of victimizations reported by females. The findings in this study are more consistent with male underreporting rather than early and/or nonpeer victimization of females. Dating patterns were identified as playing an important role in sexual victimization and offending among young people which is consistent with past research. The attitudinal results suggest that educational programs that attempt to reduce sexual victimization among high school students should target the rape-supportive belief systems of male students as these attitudes were significantly associated with their levels of offending. Overall, this study illustrates that high school females are equally, if not more, at risk for sexual victimization than college students. References
Main Term(s): Adolescents at risk
Index Term(s): Adolescent females; Adolescent males; Aggression; Juvenile Sex Offenders; Sex offenders; Sex offense causes; Sexual assault; Sexual assault victims; Sexual behavior; Sexually abused adolescents; Students; Victimization
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