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The Effects of Gender and Family Wealth on Sexual Abuse of Adolescents

1
School of Education, University of Iceland, 105 Reykjavík, Iceland
2
Prevention Research Center, Penn State University, State College, PA 16801, USA
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2019, 16(10), 1788; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph16101788
Received: 2 April 2019 / Revised: 4 May 2019 / Accepted: 16 May 2019 / Published: 20 May 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advanced Inequalities in Child and Adolescent Health and Well-being)
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Abstract

Background: Sexual abuse and sexual assaults against adolescents are among the most significant threats to their health and well-being. Some studies have found poverty to be a risk factor for sexual abuse. The present study investigates the effects of gender and family affluence on the prevalence of sexual abuse of 15-year-old Icelanders in the 10th grade. Methods: The study is based on data collected for the Icelandic part of the Health Behaviour in School-aged Children study in 2014. Standardized questionnaires were sent to all students in the 10th grade in Iceland, of which 3618 participated (85% of all registered students in this grade). Results: Girls were more than twice as likely to be sexually abused as boys (20.2% versus 9.1%). Adolescents perceiving their families to be less well off than others were twice as likely to report sexual abuse as those of ample or medium family affluence. However, family affluence had more effect on the prevalence of abuse in girls than in boys. Conclusion: Female gender and low socioeconomic status may independently contribute to the risk of sexual abuse. View Full-Text
Keywords: gender; family wealth; sexual abuse; adolescence gender; family wealth; sexual abuse; adolescence
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).
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Runarsdottir, E.; Smith, E.; Arnarsson, A. The Effects of Gender and Family Wealth on Sexual Abuse of Adolescents. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2019, 16, 1788.

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