A systematic qualitative review of risk and protective factors for sexual violence perpetration.

The current review summarized results of 191 published empirical studies that examined the risk and protective factors for sexual violence perpetration. Studies in the review examined factors for perpetration by and against adolescents and adults, by male and female perpetrators, and by those who offended against individuals of the same sex or opposite sex. Factors associated with child sexual abuse (CSA) perpetration were not included. In all, 2 societal and community factors, 23 relationship factors, and 42 individual-level factors were identified. Of these 67 factors, consistent significant support for their association with SV was found for 35, nonsignificant effects were found for 10, 7 factors had limited or sample-specific evidence that they were associated with SV but were in need of further study, and 15 demonstrated mixed results. The factors identified in the review underscore the need for comprehensive prevention programs that target multiple risk and protective factors as well as factors that occur across the social ecology. Moreover, we identified two domains of factors--the presence and acceptance of violence and unhealthy sexual behaviors, experiences, or attitudes--that had consistent significant associations with SV but are not typically addressed in prevention programs. Therefore, SV prevention may also benefit from learning from effective strategies in other areas of public health, namely sexual health and youth violence prevention.

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The current review summarized results of 191 published empirical studies that examined the risk and protective factors for sexual violence perpetration. Studies in the review examined factors for perpetration by and against adolescents and adults, by male and female perpetrators, and by those who offended against individuals of the same sex or opposite sex. Factors associated with child sexual abuse (CSA) perpetration were not included. In all, 2 societal and community factors, 23 relationship factors, and 42 individual-level factors were identified. Of these 67 factors, consistent significant support for their association with SV was found for 35, nonsignificant effects were found for 10, 7 factors had limited or sample-specific evidence that they were associated with SV but were in need of further study, and 15 demonstrated mixed results. The factors identified in the review underscore the need for comprehensive prevention programs that target multiple risk and protective factors as well as factors that occur across the social ecology. Moreover, we identified two domains of factors--the presence and acceptance of violence and unhealthy sexual behaviors, experiences, or attitudes--that had consistent significant associations with SV but are not typically addressed in prevention programs. Therefore, SV prevention may also benefit from learning from effective strategies in other areas of public health, namely sexual health and youth violence prevention.

Sexual violence (SV) is a significant public health problem with multiple negative physical and emotional sequelae for both victims and perpetrators. Despite substantial research and program activity over the past 20 years, there are few programs with demonstrated effectiveness in preventing SV. As a result, the field may benefit from considering effective approaches used with other risk behaviors that share risk factors with SV. The Division of Violence Prevention (DVP) at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has taken several steps to identify and understand the breadth of risk factors for sexual violence and to delineate the implications of these factors in the development of effective prevention strategies. This report from CDC will highlight several risk factors that, although not traditionally included in SV prevention efforts, may be important areas on which to focus and may ultimately prevent youth from embarking on trajectories resulting in SV perpetration.

Dating violence is a serious public health problem. In recent years, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and other entities have made funding available to community based agencies for dating violence prevention. Practitioners who are tasked with developing dating violence prevention strategies should pay particular attention to risk and protective factors for dating violence perpetration that have been established in longitudinal studies. This has been challenging to date because the scientific literature on the etiology of dating violence is somewhat limited, and because there have been no comprehensive reviews of the literature that clearly distinguish correlates of dating violence perpetration from risk or protective factors that have been established through longitudinal research. This is problematic because prevention programs may then target factors that are merely correlated with dating violence perpetration, and have no causal influence, which could potentially limit the effectiveness of the programs. In this article, we review the literature on risk and protective factors for adolescent dating violence perpetration and highlight those factors for which temporal precedence has been established by one or more studies. This review is intended as a guide for researchers and practitioners as they formulate prevention programs. We reviewed articles published between 2000 and 2010 that reported on adolescent dating violence perpetration using samples from the United States or Canada. In total, 53 risk factors and six protective factors were identified from 20 studies. Next steps for etiological research in adolescent dating violence are discussed, as well as future directions for prevention program developers.

Little research addresses the correlates of sexual aggression in nonclinical populations of adolescents. The purpose of this study was to identify risk and protective factors associated with sexual violence among male and female adolescents.
We analyzed data on 71,594 students in the 9th and 12th grades responding to the 1992 Minnesota Student Survey, an anonymous, self-report survey examining an array of risk environments, health-compromising behaviors, and protective factors. The responses of students reporting a history of forcing someone into a sexual act were compared with those who reported that they had never forced someone into a sexual act. Separate analyses were conducted for males and females.
A history of sexual violence perpetration was reported by 4.8% of male and 1.3% of female adolescents. Using a logistic regression model, sexual aggression was associated with experiencing intrafamilial or extrafamilial sexual abuse, witnessing family violence, frequent use of illegal drugs, anabolic steroid use, daily alcohol use, gang membership, high levels of suicide risk behavior, and excessive time spent "hanging out." Emotional health and connectedness with friends and adults in the community were protective factors for male adolescents against sexually aggressive behavior, and academic achievement was a protective factor for female adolescents.
A history of forcing someone into a sexual act was associated with several risk and protective factors. Efforts to prevent adolescent sexual violence should target individuals at increased risk. Through their psychosocial assessment of young people, health care professionals can play a role in identifying, counseling, and making appropriate referrals for adolescents at risk for sexually aggressive behavior.

2005Nov

South Africa is reported to have one of the highest rates of sexual violence in the world, with adolescent girls between the ages of 12-17 being particularly at risk. Given that adolescence is considered a critical developmental period for establishing normative sexual behavior, this study explored multiple levels of risk influences that render adolescent girls vulnerable to becoming victims of sexual violence and adolescent boys vulnerable to becoming perpetrators of such abuse in one South African community.
A case study approach using qualitative rapid focused ethnographic methods was used. This involved 10 focus group interviews and 10 individual interviews with a volunteer convenience sample of adolescent boys and girls between the ages of 14 and 16 years.
Inductive thematic analysis revealed that there were indeed multiple levels of risk influences for adolescent girls and boys becoming either victims or perpetrators of sexual violence. Using the Theory of Triadic Influence as a framework, influences at the distal socio-cultural/environmental level included traditional notions of masculinity and normalization of inter-personal violence as well as poverty and the commodification of sex leading to rape supportive attitudes. Influences at the proximal situation context/social normative level included high-risk social norms as well as a weak adult and community protective shield. Finally, influences at the intra-personal level included low self-esteem and self-efficacy as well as inter-personal affective anger.
Given the multiple levels of risk influences that need to be addressed to protect youth from becoming either perpetrators or victims of sexual violence in the South African context, prevention programs should necessarily be comprehensive, developmentally timed, and community-based.