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Comment & Response
June 2014

Understanding Sexual Violence Perpetration—Reply

Author Affiliations
  • 1Center for Innovative Public Health Research, San Clemente, California
  • 2Crimes Against Children Research Center, University of New Hampshire, Durham
JAMA Pediatr. 2014;168(6):581-582. doi:10.1001/jamapediatrics.2013.5411

In Reply We agree with Reed et al that sexual violence perpetration is gendered. Indeed, this is the story that emerges from our study: although females and males perpetrate sexual assaults at equivalent rates, males are overrepresented in coercive sex and in attempted and completed rapes.1 Among those who have attempted or completed rape, female perpetrators tend to initiate this behavior at an older age than male perpetrators. Accordingly, there are some differences in the type of victims female and male perpetrators describe. We posit in our study1 that these data point to etiological differences in the emergence of sexual violence between males and females. As an epidemiological study, the main aim was to report prevalence rates. We certainly hope that the findings will invigorate future studies that are designed to better illuminate cultural and gender differences that may help contextualize the rates that we observed.

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