Gender differences in extrafamilial sexual abuse experiences among young teens.

Laurel Edinburgh, Elizabeth Saewyc, Carolyn Levitt

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

22 Scopus citations


Extrafamilial sexual abuse experiences of young adolescents (ages 10-14), particularly young teen boys, are not well studied. This retrospective chart review study compared psychosocial correlates and victimization experiences between young adolescent girls (n = 226) and boys (n = 64) referred to a hospital child advocacy center. Several differences in risk behaviors and abuse experiences were found: Girls were more likely to have run away, to be truant from school, to report substance use, to have multiple perpetrators, and to have physical findings from the abuse. Boys were more likely to have a diagnosis of attention deficit disorder and to report anal penetration, and rarely disclosed abuse at the time of the incident. Peers were girls' most common choice for disclosing abuse, whereas boys confided most often in their mothers or other adults. These findings suggest sexually abused young adolescent girls and boys need distinct, developmentally appropriate screening and care in school and health care settings.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)278-284
Number of pages7
JournalThe Journal of school nursing : the official publication of the National Association of School Nurses
Issue number5
StatePublished - Oct 2006


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