Despite its prevalence, social scientists have historically limited their research on sexual violence to that affecting young adults ages 18 to 22.

Seeking to broaden the scope, University of Michigan researchers examined data from a socioeconomically diverse sample of middle school and high school students in southeastern Michigan.

“Adolescence is a significant developmental period during which youths’ sexual behaviors begin to emerge and sexual experimentation often occurs,” says Quyen Ngo, Ph.D., L.P., a research assistant professor at the U-M Department of Emergency Medicine’s Injury Prevention Center and the study’s principal investigator.

Same-sex peer sexual violence
The study found that more than half of female adolescents and more than 1 in 3 males reported sexual violence victimization. At the same time, nearly 1 in 4 males and more than 1 in 10 females reported committing acts of sexual violence.

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