Wednesday, March 12, 2008
Few published studies have focused on males as victims of sexual violence at the national level.
(1) estimating the proportion of men who have been forced to have sex against their will (forced sex); (2) identifying risk factors related to forced sex; and (3) estimating the association between recent STDs and history of forced sex.
Data used comes from the 2002 National Survey of Family Growth, a nationally representative sample of 4900 men. Men who have had forced sex were characterized by the survey questions “At any time in your life, have you ever been forced by a male/female to have oral or anal sex/vaginal intercourse against your will?” Bivariate and multivariate analyses were used to examine the association among recent STDs, forced sex, risk factors, and social-demographical factors.
Of 4247 male participants aged 18-44 years, 2.0% (standard error= 0.2%, n=122) reported having had forced sex by males, and 5.8% (SE=0.6%, n=316) by females. Combined, they accounted for a 7.6% (SE=0.7, n=416) national prevalence. Multivariate analysis showed that men aged 18-44 years were more likely to report having had forced sex if they were self-identified as homosexual or bisexual, frequently drank (once a day or more), lived under the poverty level, and had a mother with no high school diploma. Forced sex by males occurred at much earlier age (mean age=11.3) than by females (mean age=17.7). Men were significantly more likely to report physical harm during forced sex by males than by females (20.7% vs. 5.5%). Men were 4 times more likely to report recent STDs if they had a history of forced sex.
Although a history of forced sex affects a small proportion of men population, it is an important public health issue.
STD interventions should be tailored to include a component to address sexual victimization of men.