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Article
December 6, 1995

Nonsexual Assaults to the Genitals in the Youth Population

Author Affiliations

From the Family Research Laboratory, University of New Hampshire, Durham.

JAMA. 1995;274(21):1692-1697. doi:10.1001/jama.1995.03530210046029
Abstract

Objective.  —To assess the frequency with which youth suffer nonsexual assaults to the genitals and their context and consequences.

Design.  —Telephone survey with follow-up interview 1 year later.

Setting.  —General population of the United States living in households with telephones.

Participants.  —Random sample of 1042 boys and 958 girls aged 10 through 16 years.

Results.  —A nonsexual assault to the genitals was experienced by 9.2% of the boys and 1.0% of the girls in the year prior to the initial interview and 9.1% of the boys and 2.2% of the girls in the year prior to the follow-up interview. Among the boys, about a quarter of the assaults involved some injury, but only one in 50 needed medical attention. The most common assailants were same-aged peers. The assaults occurred in a variety of contexts including gang attacks, peer fighting, bullying, and some situations in which girls retaliated against the genitals of harassing boys. Boy victims of nonsexual genital assault had significantly higher levels of posttraumatic and depression symptomatology than boys without such assaults.

Conclusions.  —Nonsexual genital violence needs additional clinical and research attention. Youth should be educated about its possible consequences. Clinicians should ask about nonsexual genital violence when taking a history, particularly with youth who have experienced other kinds of assaults.(JAMA. 1995;274:1692-1697)

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