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Perpetrator and Victim Gender Patterns for 21 Forms of Youth Victimization in the National Survey of Children's Exposure to Violence

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Most interest in violence and gender has focused on certain types of victimization such as sex offenses and relational aggression. This study examined gender patterns across numerous forms of youth victimization. The data are from the National Survey of Children's Exposure to Violence (NatSCEV), a nationally representative U.S. sample of 4,549 children ages 1 month to 17 years obtained through a telephone survey of caregivers and youth. For 18 of 21 victimization types, male perpetration was significantly more common than female perpetration. Perpetrator–victim patterns revealed that most forms of physical assault and bullying showed a predominantly male-on-male pattern. All forms of sexual assault, plus kidnapping, showed a predominantly male-on-female pattern. Nonphysical maltreatment showed a mixed pattern, with fairly similar rates across all four gender configurations. Many violence types were more severe when perpetrated by males versus females as indicated by higher injury rates and greater victim fear. Higher order analyses by victimization type indicated, among other findings, that victimization types with more stranger perpetrators had more male perpetrators, victimizations with higher percentages of male-on-female and female-on-male incidents were more likely to be sexual offenses, and higher percentages of female-on-female incidents were associated with verbal victimizations. Results also suggest that males are more likely to aggress in more impersonal contexts compared to females. Gender socialization, physical power, and social power appear to intersect in ways that create gendered patterns of violence. These factors, versus a focus on skills deficits, need more attention in prevention and intervention.
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Keywords: GENDER DIFFERENCES; PHYSICAL ASSAULT; RELATIONAL AGGRESSION; SEXUAL ASSAULT; YOUTH VIOLENCE

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 2013-12-01

More about this publication?
  • Violence and Victims discusses theory, research, policy, and clinical practice in the area of interpersonal violence and victimization across such disciplines as psychology, sociology, criminology, law, medicine, nursing, psychiatry, and social work.

    The journal's 2016 Impact Factor is 0.750.
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