Adult sexual assault: Prevalence, symptomatology, and sex differences in the general population

Authors

  • Diana M. Elliott,

    Corresponding author
    1. Department of Psychiatry and the Behavioral Sciences, Keck School of Medicine, University of Southern California, Los Angeles, California
    • 18000 Studebaker Road, Suite 700, Cerritos, California 90703
    Search for more papers by this author
  • Doris S. Mok,

    1. Department of Graduate Psychology, Azusa Pacific University, Kansas, Missouri
    Search for more papers by this author
  • John Briere

    1. Department of Psychiatry and the Behavioral Sciences, Keck School of Medicine, University of Southern California, Los Angeles, California
    Search for more papers by this author

Abstract

The prevalence and impact of adult sexual assault (ASA) were examined in a stratified random sample of the general population. Among 941 participants, ASA was reported by 22% of women and 3.8% of men. Multivariate risk factors for ASA included a younger age, being female, having been divorced, sexual abuse in childhood, and physical assault in adulthood. Childhood sexual abuse was especially common among sexually assaulted men and women (61 and 59%, respectively). ASA victims were more symptomatic than their nonassaulted cohorts on all scales of the Trauma Symptom Inventory (TSI; J. Briere, 1995), despite an average of 14 years having passed since the assault. Assaulted men reported greater symptomatology than assaulted women, whereas nonassaulted men reported less symptomatology than nonassaulted women.

Ancillary