Journal Articles

Publication Date



Preventive Medicine Reports


Being a victim of sexual violence (SV) is generally believed to be associated with subsequent sexual risk behavior (SRB) during adolescence. While this assumption makes intuitive sense, it is based on methodologically limited research, including a reliance on cross-sectional data. to address this gap in research, we test whether experiencing SV victimization in early adolescence is associated with self-reported SRB approximately two years later. The sample comprised 4,618 youth (58% female; 52% Hispanic; 39% Black) attending 44 schools in the southern United States. Self-reported data were collected using an audio computer-assisted self-interview (ACASI). Baseline data were collected when students were in 7th or 8th grade and follow-up data were collected approximately 24 months later when students were in 9th or 10th grade. Indices of SRB included behaviors related to oral, vaginal, and anal sex (e.g., number of partners, number of times without a condom). Girls, but not boys, who reported SV victimization at baseline reported engaging more frequently in all oral and vaginal SRBs at 24 month follow-up compared to their non-victimized female counterparts. Additionally, girls reporting SV victimization reported more anal sex partners than non-victimized girls. Girls who are victims of SV engage in significantly more SRB by early high school placing them at greater risk to contract STIs and become pregnant. Victims of SV should be screened for SRB and provided access to the appropriate resources. Teen pregnancy and STI prevention planning should consider SV victimization in their strategy planning.


Adolescence, Sexual risk behavior, Sexual violence, Sexually transmitted infection, Teen pregnancy

Included in

Public Health Commons



To view the content in your browser, please download Adobe Reader or, alternately,
you may Download the file to your hard drive.

NOTE: The latest versions of Adobe Reader do not support viewing PDF files within Firefox on Mac OS and if you are using a modern (Intel) Mac, there is no official plugin for viewing PDF files within the browser window.