Prevalence rates of male and female sexual violence perpetrators in a national sample of adolescents
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  • Almost all of the sexual violence perpetration literature focuses on boys as the sexual aggressors and females as victims <br /> In studies that include both adolescent males and females, results are conflicting: some report female sexual violence perpetration at the same or higher rates as males,14, 15 while others report females as less likely to engage in sexually violent behavior than males.16-18 <br />
  • HPOL is a double opt-in panel of millions of respondents. <br /> HPOL data are consistently comparable to data that has been obtained from RDD telephone samples of general populations when sampling and weighting is applied. <br />
  • As the children were recruited from the adults who initially agreed to take the study, the sample selection bias is found primarily in the characteristics of adults who chose to take this survey. Hence, only adults were propensity weighted and the propensity weights that were generated for the adults were applied to the child. The propensity score was derived from key questions in the survey that examined the attitudes and behaviors of the respondents as well as the demographic questions. <br /> This study will focus on Wave 4 data because that’s when comprehensive measures of sexual violence were added <br />
  • The first item was kept in its original location in the survey for consistency across waves, and as such, was in a different section than the other three items. <br /> Again, this study will focus on Wave 4 data because that’s when comprehensive measures of sexual violence were added <br />
  • Respondents at Wave 4 look similar to non-respondents, including rates of sexual violence (comparing the rates of wave 1 responses to Q1 on previous slide) <br /> So, even though we might like the W4 response rate to be higher, internal validity does not appear to be compromised <br />
  • 8.5% of youth reported some type of sexual violence perpetration in their lifetime <br /> Behaviors were inter-related: Cronbach’s alpha = 0.71 <br />
  • All comparisons are not statistically significantly different <br /> Age: average for non-perps: 16.7 years vs. for perps: 17.0 years <br />
  • When you break it out by type of sexual violence, all characteristics vary significantly for perps versus non-perps of coercive sex; and for all except Hispanic ethnicity for perps and non-perps of attempted rape <br /> Characteristics are similar for perps and non-perps of forced sexual contact; and completed rape – although for the latter, this is likely due to sample size more than actual lack of clinical differences <br />
  • Attempted rape: Oral sex and sex with a finger or sex toy were suggestive of statistical significance (p&lt;.10) <br />
  • Female perpetrators tend to be older at their first perpetration, and are more likely to report victims who are older them than compared to male perpetrators <br /> Other characteristics, including the number of lifetime victims, and whether the victims was a romantic partner or not are similar for female and male perpetrators <br />
  • Tactics used are similar for females and males, although there is some suggestion that females may be more likely to use coercive tactics (arguing and pressuring them; alcohol) <br /> Consequences also are similar. Overall, most perpetrations are undiscovered; and those that are reported to someone go unpunished. <br />

Prevalence rates of male and female sexual violence perpetrators in a national sample of adolescents Presentation Transcript

  • 1. XXth INTERNATIONAL SOCIETY FOR RESEARCH ON AGGRESSION (ISRA) WORLD MEETING JULY 20, 2012, 4:00PM - 6:00PM LUXEMBOURG, LUXEMBOURG Prevalence rates of male and female sexual violence perpetrators in a national sample of adolescent Michele Ybarra MPH PhD Kimberly Mitchell PhD * Thank you for your interest in this presentation. Please note that analyses included herein are preliminary.  More recent, finalized analyses can be found in: Ybarra, M. L., & Mitchell, K. J. (2013). Prevalence rates of male and female sexual violence perpetrators in a national sample of adolescent. JAMA Pediatrics, 167(12), 1125-1134.
  • 2. BACKGROUND     Sexual violence (SV) is associated with more than one million victims and associated costs of almost $127 billion each year.1 The impact on the individual can be high, including increased rates of post-traumatic stress disorder,2 physical health problems,3 and suicidal threats and attempts.4 Sexual violence emerges in adolescence, 5-7 making it a critical period of inquiry. Most of the prevention focus has been on the victims. As such, little is known about perpetrators. Gaps include:   A lack of nationwide estimates for adolescent perpetrators of SV 8 Data are sparse for adolescent female perpetrators of SV 9-12
  • 3. GROWING UP WITH MEDIA SURVEY METHODOLOGY     Baseline data collected AugustSeptember, 2006. Wave 4 data (the focus of today’s talk) were collected October 2010 – February 2011 Participants were recruited from Harris Poll On Line 1,586 households (one caregiver, one child) were randomly recruited and subsequently surveyed online Youth eligibility: Aged 10-15 years  Use the Internet at least once in the last 6 months  English speaking 
  • 4. WEIGHTING AND RESPONSE RATES  Weighting: Data were weighted to match the US population of adults with children between the ages of 10 and 15 years;  Propensity scoring was applied to adjust for selfselection into the HPOL; and in subsequent waves, the propensity to respond versus not Response rates:  Initial, Wave 1 response rate was 28%  At Wave 4, 56% (n = 888) of baseline respondents responded; 77% of Wave 3 participants responded at Wave 4  
  • 5. MEASURING SEXUAL VIOLENCE Sexual violence perpetration was queried using four items: 1. In the last 12 months, how often have you kissed, touched, or done anything sexual with another person when that person did not want you to.” 2. How often have you ever tried, but was not able, to make someone have sex with me when I knew they did not want to; 3. How often have you ever made someone have sex with me when I knew they did not want to; and 4. How often have you ever gotten someone to give in to sex with me when I knew they did not want to. The first item was included in the survey since Wave 1. It was drafted specifically for this study. The other 3 items were added at Wave 4 and were modified from the Sexual Experiences Survey. 13,14 To more closely align the timeframes, youth who reported forced sexual behavior at any of the four waves were included as perpetrators. Twenty-two youth reported past-year perpetration at Wave 4; 57 reported perpetration at least once since Wave 1.
  • 6. DEMOGRAPHIC CHARACTERISTICS OF WAVE 4 RESPONDERS VERSUS NONRESPONDERS* Wave 4 responder (n=878) Wave 4 nonresponder (n=708) P-value Average age at W1 12.7 12.7 .93 Male sex 50% 49% .70 White race 71% 74% .36 Hispanic ethnicity 17% 19% .65 Low household income (<$35,000 py) 25% 27% .70 Caregiver is married 73% 74% .69 Sexual violence (Q1) 2% 3% .23 Demographic characteristics *Weighted data
  • 7. NATIONAL, LIFETIME SEXUAL VIOLENCE PERPETRATION RATES AMONG 13-20 YEAR OLDS 30% Kissed, touched, or made someone do something sexual Attempted to force sex 25% Got someone to give into sex 20% Forced someone to have sex 15% 10% 5% 7% 2% 2% 0% Type of SV perpetration 1%
  • 8. DEMOGRAPHIC CHARACTERISTICS BASED UPON SEXUAL VIOLENCE PERPETRATION (N=878)
  • 9. DEMOGRAPHIC CHARACTERISTICS BASED UPON TYPE OF SEXUAL VIOLENCE PERPETRATION (N=878)
  • 10. TYPE OF SEX ATTEMPTED OR FORCED BY PERPETRATOR BIOLOGICAL SEX
  • 11. Sex Differences in Penetration Perpetration Specific detail about the perpetrator and the experience Female perpetrators (n=9) Male perpetrators (n=17) Age at first perpetration (p<.05) 17.3 (0.6) 15.6 (0.4) Difference between current age and age at first perpetration (ns) 1.8 (0.3) 1.4 (0.3) 24% 33% Older (p<.05) 50% 6% Same age (p<.05) 0% 20% Younger (p<.05) 50% 75% School (ns) 70% 54% Online (ns) 0% 3% 30% 43% 63% 68% More than 1 victim (ever) (ns) Most recent perpetration event Victim age Where the perp met victim Somewhere else (e.g., at a party) (ns) Victim romantic partner (ns)
  • 12. Tactics Used And Consequences of Attempted or Completed Penetration Perpetration Specific detail about the perpetrator and the experience Female perpetrators (n=9) Male perpetrators (n=17) Arguing and pressuring 52% 32% Guilt 42% 51% Alcohol 29% 14% Threat of force 3% 0% Use of force 19% 11% Got in trouble with parents 0% 14% Got in trouble at school 0% 0% Police contact 0% 0% Arrested 0% 3% 29% 15% 71% 71% Tactics used against victim Consequences of perpetration Someone found out but youth did not get in trouble No one found out
  • 13. SUMMARY  8.5% of 13-20 year olds report perpetrating sexual violence at least once in their lives:  9.5%  of males and 7.5% of females Where differences were noted, perpetrators were significantly more likely to be White and less likely to be Hispanic, and to be from middle- or higher-income households compared to non-perpetrators of SV.
  • 14. SUMMARY Male perpetrators were more likely than female perpetrators to report attempted rape and coercive sex, with similar trends noted for completed rape.  Females were older than males when they first perpetrated and they were more likely to victimize people older than them, whereas males victimized people younger or the same age.  Disclosure of sexual violence experiences is very uncommon: Few perpetrators report someone finding out about the event. Only 1 male reports being arrested. 
  • 15. LIMITATIONS  Because of the level of detail and number of questions asked of perpetrators, the survey was designed to minimize participant burden where possible. As such, information for each type of sexual violence was not available in many cases. It is possible, for example, that age at first perpetration for completed rape is older than age at first attempted rape. The current data reflect more simply the age of any sexual perpetration.  Given the sensitivity of the subject, observed rates may be underestimates of the true prevalence rates of sexually violent behavior.
  • 16. CONCLUSIONS As one of the first reports of national rates of sexual violence in adolescence, findings should be interpreted cautiously.  Results need to be replicated, particularly intriguing differences between male and female perpetrators.  These data suggest that efforts to encourage victims to report their experiences need to be invigorated. 
  • 17. ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS This publication was supported by the Cooperative Agreement Number 5R01CE001543 from The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Its contents are solely the responsibility of the authors and do not necessarily represent the official views of the CDC. Thank you to Dr. Rowell Huesmann for kindly being willing to present this presentation in our absence!
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