Unwanted sex among young adults in the United States: The role of physical disability and cognitive performance

Abigail A. Haydon, Annie Laurie McRee, Carolyn Tucker Halpern

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

19 Scopus citations

Abstract

This study examined associations between unwanted sexual experiences and both physical disability and cognitive performance in a nationally representative sample of young adults. We used data from 11,878 participants (ages 26-32) in Waves I, III, and IV of the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health (Add Health). Logistic regressions determined associations between physical disability and level of cognitive performance (using a modified Peabody Picture Vocabulary Test) and the odds of experiencing physically forced and nonphysically coerced sex. Approximately 24% of females and 4% of males reported unwanted sexual experiences. Compared to respondents without disabilities, females with a physical disability had greater odds of experiencing forced sex (OR = 1.49; 95% CI [1.06, 2.08]), whereas males with a physical disability had greater odds of coerced sex (OR = 1.90; 95% CI [1.02, 3.52]). Compared to those with average cognitive performance scores, females with scores above 110 had slightly higher odds of coerced sex (OR = 1.20; 95% CI [1.03-1.41]). Further research on pathways underlying these associations is needed to inform prevention efforts.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3476-3493
Number of pages18
JournalJournal of Interpersonal Violence
Volume26
Issue number17
DOIs
StatePublished - Nov 2011

Keywords

  • adult victims
  • male victims
  • sexual assault
  • vulnerability to abuse

PubMed: MeSH publication types

  • Journal Article
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

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