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#436397 - 05/31/13 08:21 AM Young people overwhelming victims of sex assault
Ken Singer, LCSW Offline
Moderator Emeritus
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 08/24/00
Posts: 5778
Loc: Lambertville, NJ USA
Public release date: 30-May-2013
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Contact: Matthew Swayne
mls29@psu.edu
814-865-9481
Penn State
Young people are overwhelmingly the victims of sexual assaults

Sexual assault has almost as much to do with age as it does with gender, according to Penn State criminologists. Young people -- both male and female -- are the most likely targets of rape and other sexual assaults, said Richard Felson, professor of criminology and sociology. The most frequent victims of those assaults are 15 years old, regardless of gender, or the age of the offender, he said. Older people and women rarely commit the crime, but when they do, their most frequent victims are still 15 years old.

"People tend to look at sexual assault almost exclusively as a crime against women, but this study shows that there is a different way of looking at the crime," said Felson.

Females who are 15 years old are about nine times more likely than 35-year-old females to be raped, and about 4.75 times more likely to be raped than 25-year-old females, according to the researchers. A 15-year-old boy is more likely to be a victim of a sexual assault than a 40-year-old woman.

Felson said that male behavior during robberies tends to reinforce the findings that age influences sexual assault. The researchers, who report their findings in the online edition of Archives of Sexual Behavior, said that the sexual attractiveness of young people, as well as their vulnerability and active social lives, are important factors in placing them at high risk for sexual assaults.

Sexual attractiveness is the leading explanation for the age of sexual assault victims, said Felson, who worked with Patrick Cundiff, a doctoral student in criminology and sociology. Male attraction to younger females can be seen in the high number of young women in modeling, prostitution and the adult entertainment industry, the researchers said. Prior studies also show that compensation for female sex workers declines as women age.

Evidence on sexual assaults that occur during robberies suggests that sexual attractiveness is an important element explaining the victimization of young people.

"During a robbery, a man is much more likely to also engage in a rape if the age of the victim is between 15 and 29," Felson said.

Studying male behavior during robberies is a way of controlling for vulnerability and contact with potential offenders. Male robbers still show a strong preference for young people in their decisions to rape, even when controlling for these opportunity factors.

While criminal offenders tend to be young, men who commit sexual assault tend to be older than men who commit physical assault. According to Felson, their relatively high rate of sexual assault reflects the fact that their sexual attraction to young people is not reciprocated.

Many scholars believe that men's negative attitudes toward women are the primary motivation for sexual assault. However, the researchers said the relative similarity between the sexual assault rates of gay and straight men suggest that negative attitudes toward women are not likely a primary factor in the crime.

"If sexual assault was motivated primarily by attitudes toward women, the sexual assault rate of straight men would be higher than the rates of gay men," Felson said. "However, gay men are just as likely to commit sexual assault as straight men and they are just as likely to target young people."

The researchers examined the 300,000 sexual assaults reported from 2000 to 2007 in the National Incident-Based Reporting System administered by the FBI. The results also took into account that sexual assaults are often unreported, Felson said.

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#436425 - 05/31/13 04:05 PM Re: Young people overwhelming victims of sex assault [Re: Ken Singer, LCSW]
BraveFalcon Offline
Greeter
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 02/25/13
Posts: 1096
Loc: The ATL
Interesting article, although the findings do not surprise me and I do not think the phenomenon it chronicles is anything new. Young people being the most frequent victims of sexual assault is something that's probably always been the case since the dawn of time and in probably every culture. Sadly, it makes perfect sense. Young people, (of both genders), are more gullible, easier to manipulate, easier to control, easier to overpower and are prettier. Kind of the perfect storm.

Originally Posted By: Ken Singer, LCSW

The researchers, who report their findings in the online edition of Archives of Sexual Behavior, said that the sexual attractiveness of young people, as well as their vulnerability and active social lives, are important factors in placing them at high risk for sexual assaults.

Sexual attractiveness is the leading explanation for the age of sexual assault victims, said Felson, who worked with Patrick Cundiff, a doctoral student in criminology and sociology. Male attraction to younger females can be seen in the high number of young women in modeling, prostitution and the adult entertainment industry, the researchers said. Prior studies also show that compensation for female sex workers declines as women age.


You know, I've gotten into little debates with people in the past, (not here), who claim that rape/sexual assault/sexual abuse is ALL about power and control and has absolutely nothing to do with sexual attraction. While this may be true for some perpetrators, I think it's probably only the minority of them. Sexual abuse is only about power and control? Really? That's funny, because the very elderly are easy to manipulate, control and overpower too but you don't see many people going out of their way to diddle them, do you? How many geriaphiles have you ever heard of? I can count how many I've heard of on one hand if you amputate five fingers first. And why is it so many men are clamoring for "barley legal" porn and you never see any advertisements or magazine covers that say, "HOT MENOPAUSE PORN!!!"? Is there even such a thing as menopause porn? I kind of hope not. Gross. eek

Youth = Beauty, and that is a huge part of the equation in this. Always has been, always will be.

Thanks for posting this article, as it was quite revealing and was good food for thought. I hope lots of people read it. Oh, and it's always nice to see another Ken out there. Take care. Peace,

Ken


Edited by BraveFalcon (05/31/13 05:16 PM)

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#436459 - 06/01/13 04:01 AM Re: Young people overwhelming victims of sex assault [Re: Ken Singer, LCSW]
CruxFidelis Offline


Registered: 06/16/10
Posts: 486
Loc: NJ
it happened to me when I was 27. Nothing appealing there. Just in the wrong hospital bed at the wrong time. I was very skinny and probably smelled bad. There are just some evil people out there. It is absolutely about power and control.

Elder abuse happens all the time, too. I'm not sure what the statistics are about nursing homes and sexual abuse, but I wouldn't be surprised. It seems like there hasn't been a single social institution that hasn't been corrupted by abuse.

Just because someone isn't the typical victim doesn't mean they deserve to be overlooked.
_________________________
“If a man wishes to be sure of the road he treads on, he must close his eyes and walk in the dark.”

- Saint John of the Cross

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#436473 - 06/01/13 08:43 AM Re: Young people overwhelming victims of sex assault [Re: CruxFidelis]
BraveFalcon Offline
Greeter
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 02/25/13
Posts: 1096
Loc: The ATL
Originally Posted By: CruxFidelis

Just because someone isn't the typical victim doesn't mean they deserve to be overlooked.


Of course they don't. I would never suggest such a thing and I promise you that wasn't what I was implying. Sure, people of all ages can be sexually abused or raped, even the elderly. However, I'd be willing to bet that for every instance of senior citizen sexual abuse you could find, there are probably like 100 instances of child/teen sexual abuse. Or something close to it.

There are different types of sexual predators out there and they are all motivated by different things. For some of them it is all about power and control and nothing more. I even said that in my first post to the thread. I just think that in most cases, a perp's sexual attraction to their victim plays a huge role in their actions. Not all of the time, but most of the time. We may have to agree to disagree on that point though.

What happened to you was horrible and I would never try to discount or invalidate that. I apologize if it came across that way. Take care. Peace,

Ken

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#438383 - 06/16/13 05:22 PM Re: Young people overwhelming victims of sex assault [Re: BraveFalcon]
reality2k4 Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 07/06/04
Posts: 6838
Loc: Stuck between water, air, and ...
BraveFalcon, you are so right about abuse, it is all about power and control!
In the U.K., we see celebrities being found out for past abuse.
But, if you have money, you can always use the excuse that "they are in it for the money".

What a cop out!
I regret how society treats victims of abuse.
Try it for a minute, an, hour, a day, a week, a month, a year, then try it for lifetime.

Only then you will see the abused boy, in the World that was promised to him, and not seeing him as a scrounger.
_________________________
Whoever stole the Sun, put it back and we'll drop all the charges!

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