Characteristics of Victims of Sexual Abuse by Gender and Race in a Community Corrections Population

Academic Article

Abstract

  • The purpose of this study was to examine how victims of sexual abuse in a community corrections population differ as a result of their sex and race. Of the 19,422 participants, a total of 1,298 (6.7%) reported a history of sexual abuse and were compared with nonabused participants. The sample was analyzed by race-gender groups (White men, White women, African American men, and African American women) using univariate and logistic regression analyses, which were conducted separately for each group. White women were the most likely to report a history of sexual abuse (26.5%), followed by African American women (16.0%), White men (4.0%), and African American men (1.1%). For all groups, histories of suicidal ideation and suicide attempts were associated with a history of sexual abuse. Sexual abuse was associated with substance abuse problems for women but not the men. Cannabis dependence was associated with sexual abuse for the White women while cocaine dependence was associated with sexual abuse for the African American women. Several other variables were associated with sexual abuse for women but not men, including lower education (White women only), a history of violent offenses (White women only), and living in a shelter (African American women only). African American men tended to have higher levels of education; this was the only variable uniquely associated with either male group. Receiving psychiatric medications was associated with sexual abuse for all groups except African American men and a history of sex for drugs was associated with sexual abuse for all groups except White men. Consistent with national sample, women, particularly White women, were more likely to be victims of sexual abuse. The gender-race differences for the sociodemographic factors associated with sexual abuse, particularly the risk of substance abuse for women, suggest the need for tailored interventions for sexual abuse prevention and treatment. © The Author(s) 2012.
  • Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Author List

  • Clark CB; Perkins A; McCullumsmith CB; Islam MA; Hanover EE; Cropsey KL
  • Start Page

  • 1844
  • End Page

  • 1861
  • Volume

  • 27
  • Issue

  • 9