Sexual Assault Is Common Among Youths, Sense of Responsibility Is Not
While those most likely to report initiating unwanted sexual contact in their early to mid-teens were boys, girls were among the perpetrators as the age of respondents increased. Latino and African American youths, and those from low-income families, were less likely to have coerced another person to engage in sex than were whites and those from higher-income families, the study found.
And among perpetrators of sexual violence, consumption of X-rated materials — specifically those depicting physical harm in the context of sex — was notably more common than it was among youths who did not report efforts to coerce or force someone else to engage in sex.
The research, published Monday in the journal JAMA Pediatrics, appears to be first to gauge how widespread sexual violence is among Americans of high-school and college age. It was based on surveys conducted between October 2010 and March 2012 with 1,058 people ages 14 to 21 who participated in a broader longitudinal study called “Growing Up With Media.”