Childhood sexual abuse and coercive sex among school-based adolescents in a midwestern state

Mark A. Lodico, Enid Gruber, Ralph J. DiClemente

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Purpose: Childhood sexual abuse has been identified in several studies as a predictor of adult sexual aggression or sexual victimization. Aggression and victimization are defined in this study as coercive sex. To date, no study of a sample of high school adolescents has investigated the association between a self-reported history of childhood sexual abuse and adolescent coercive sex. Method: Findings from the present study are based on a 10% random sample of the white and all the African American and Native American 9th and 12th grade students of a Midwestern state who completed a state-wide anonymous survey of risk-taking behavior in 1989. Results: The present study identified a 10% prevalence of sexual abuse. Females were four times more likely to report sexual abuse than males, while Native Americans and African Americans were approximately twice as likely as whites to report sexual abuse. Sexually abused adolescents were five times more likely to report any type of coercive sex with a friend or date than their nonabused peers. Specifically, compared to nonabused peers, sexually abused adolescents were twice as likely to report sexual aggression, and six times more likely to report sexual victimization and the co-occurrence of sexual aggression and victimization. Conclusions: Both by victimizing and being revictimized, sexually abused adolescents perpetuate their abusive experience. Adolescent health care providers should assess patients for sexually coercive behavior if they report childhood sexual abuse and assess adolescents who report current sexually coercive behavior for childhood sexual abuse.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)211-217
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Adolescent Health
Volume18
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Mar 1996

Keywords

  • Adolescents
  • Coercive sex
  • Sexual abuse
  • Sexual aggression
  • Sexual revictimization

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Psychiatry and Mental health

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