8% of American Young Adults Have Committed Sexual Violence, Study Says

Though we didn’t need scientific research to confirm that sexual violence is a major problem among young adults, the statistics are now official: A study appearing in the journal JAMA Pediatrics surveyed 1,058 young adults and the revolting results indicated that 8% of Americans between the ages of 14 and 21 have committed some form of sexual violence, defined as “kissing, touching, or making someone else do something sexual” when the perpetrator “knew the other person did not want to.” 3% verbally coerced a victim into sex, or attempted physical force. 2% completed a rape.

The study found various linkages that increased one’s chances of being a perpetrator of sexual violence. Pornography, for example, plays an important role. Those who watch violent pornography are much more likely to commit a crime, while those who watch non-violent pornography are just as likely as those who watch no pornography at all.


In terms of the violence itself, 63% of perpetrators use guilt as a means to an end, 15% used alcohol, and 8% used physical force.

Most horrifying of all is the fact that 50% of perpetrators felt their victim was “completely” responsible for any forms of sexual violence that occurred. This only makes you wonder how skewed these results are due to one being completely oblivious to his or her own crime.

Those who worked on the study compiled these statistics and concluded that the rapist prototype can be defined as a “white male from a higher-income family.” Though things seem bleak, the study’s authors hope that these results will “"assess and perhaps challenge our assumptions about sexual violence as an ill solely conscripted to underprivileged populations.” 

Read the full study HERE.


Thanks to Slate Magazine.

Image via UCLA.

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