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Comment & Response
June 2014

Understanding Sexual Violence Perpetration

Author Affiliations
  • 1California Pacific Medical Center Research Institute, San Francisco
JAMA Pediatr. 2014;168(6):580-581. doi:10.1001/jamapediatrics.2013.5405

To the Editor It seems unlikely that the 9% of adolescents reported by Ybarra and Mitchell1 to have coerced sex, or to have attempted or completed rape, made a conscious decision to commit a felony. It is more likely that they made excuses for their behavior because they had not fully understood the lesson that any penetration of the body of a girl (or boy) without free consent is rape—consent being valid only if she or he is capable of giving consent. Somehow, they convinced themselves that the rules did not apply to them.

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