by Moira Gaul
April 29, 2008
The following research is cited from an academic review paper published in 2007, “Statutory Rape Crime Relationships between Juveniles and Adults: A Review of Social Scientific Research,” (Aggression and Violent Behavior, 2007)
In an analysis of the national Incident-Based Reporting System (NIBRS), data from 21 states from 1996 through 2000 indicated that of the 7,557 statutory rape incidents reported to law enforcement:
- 95% involved female victims with male offenders.
- About 60% of the female adolescents were aged 14 or 15.
- The median age difference between the female adolescent and the male was six years.
- Approximately 45% of the male participants were age 21 or over, 25% were age 24 or older.
The paper went on to state, “The studies generally show that the relationships with adults and older partners comprise a large percentage of all sexual relationships for girls of a younger age. A number of factors may contribute to this: The younger a girl is when she begins engaging in sexual activity, the more likely she is to be a risk taker, have poorer judgment, or come to early initiation through a history of sexual abuse that would orient her toward older partners.”
While I would not agree with all of the conclusions drawn in this scientific review paper, it does report research which elucidates the fact that a large percentage of sexually active teen girls have, at one time or another, been sexually involved with an adult male. The experiences cause and place girls and adolescent females at high-risk for negative psycho-social and health outcomes.