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Profile of Young Victims of Unwanted Sexual Experiences: a Gender Comparison Using a Swiss National Survey


Auderset, Diane; Akre, Christina; Barrense-Dias, Yara; Berchtold, André; Jacot-Descombes, Caroline; Leeners, Brigitte; Morselli, Davide; Surís, Joan-Carles (2021). Profile of Young Victims of Unwanted Sexual Experiences: a Gender Comparison Using a Swiss National Survey. Sexuality Research and Social Policy, 18(1):127-136.

Abstract

Introduction

Youths are particularly at risk of experiencing sexual victimization but research tends to focus on the most violent forms (i.e. rape or child sexual abuse) and on female cases. This study aimed at identifying factors associated to different types of unwanted sexual experiences (USE) among young females and males as well as estimating probabilities of experiencing sexual victimization among gender.
Methods

Data were drawn from a cross-sectional survey on sexual health and behaviors using a nationally representative sample of youths aged 24–26 living in Switzerland. Respondents (N = 5290) were divided in three categories of reported USE, ordered by conceptualized severity. The fourth group was constituted of those never having experienced any. Weighted bivariate and multivariate analyses were performed using demographic characteristics and risk behavior indicators.
Results

At the multivariate level, the higher the severity of USE, the higher the number of associated factors, revealing the complexity of this issue. Females had a higher probability of experiencing sexual victimization than of never experiencing any, with a probability of two out of three. They faced higher probabilities of sexual victimization than males, although males’ probability of USE were not as marginal as expected, further considering that they are found to face higher rates of non-disclosure than females.
Conclusion

USE is a complex issue, and the level of complexity increases in parallel with its severity. Although it is much more frequent among females, males report highers rates than expected.
Policy implications

When investigating sexual victimization, there is a need to consider the diverse forms of USE and adopt a gendered approach in order to better comprehend sexual victimization and effectively intervene on the social, legal, and public health levels to prevent sexual victimization among youths.

Abstract

Introduction

Youths are particularly at risk of experiencing sexual victimization but research tends to focus on the most violent forms (i.e. rape or child sexual abuse) and on female cases. This study aimed at identifying factors associated to different types of unwanted sexual experiences (USE) among young females and males as well as estimating probabilities of experiencing sexual victimization among gender.
Methods

Data were drawn from a cross-sectional survey on sexual health and behaviors using a nationally representative sample of youths aged 24–26 living in Switzerland. Respondents (N = 5290) were divided in three categories of reported USE, ordered by conceptualized severity. The fourth group was constituted of those never having experienced any. Weighted bivariate and multivariate analyses were performed using demographic characteristics and risk behavior indicators.
Results

At the multivariate level, the higher the severity of USE, the higher the number of associated factors, revealing the complexity of this issue. Females had a higher probability of experiencing sexual victimization than of never experiencing any, with a probability of two out of three. They faced higher probabilities of sexual victimization than males, although males’ probability of USE were not as marginal as expected, further considering that they are found to face higher rates of non-disclosure than females.
Conclusion

USE is a complex issue, and the level of complexity increases in parallel with its severity. Although it is much more frequent among females, males report highers rates than expected.
Policy implications

When investigating sexual victimization, there is a need to consider the diverse forms of USE and adopt a gendered approach in order to better comprehend sexual victimization and effectively intervene on the social, legal, and public health levels to prevent sexual victimization among youths.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, not_refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:04 Faculty of Medicine > University Hospital Zurich > Clinic for Reproductive Endocrinology
Dewey Decimal Classification:610 Medicine & health
Scopus Subject Areas:Social Sciences & Humanities > Gender Studies
Social Sciences & Humanities > Health (social science)
Social Sciences & Humanities > Sociology and Political Science
Uncontrolled Keywords:Sociology and Political Science, Health(social science), Gender Studies
Language:English
Date:1 March 2021
Deposited On:11 Feb 2021 14:43
Last Modified:12 Feb 2021 21:00
Publisher:Springer
ISSN:1868-9884
OA Status:Closed
Free access at:Publisher DOI. An embargo period may apply.
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1007/s13178-020-00436-y
Project Information:
  • : FunderSNSF
  • : Grant ID32003B_162538
  • : Project TitleSexual health and behavior of young people in Switzerland

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