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February 1982

Sexual Abuse of Children: Sex-, Race-, and Age-Dependent Variations

Author Affiliations

From the Department of Pediatrics, Thomas Jefferson University, Philadelphia.

Am J Dis Child. 1982;136(2):129-134. doi:10.1001/archpedi.1982.03970380041010

• In a retrospective review of 416 alleged cases of sexual assault on victims under the age of 16 years, we analyzed the data with respect to race, sex, and age. There were 72 boys (17.3%) and 344 girls (82.7%), with ages ranging from 6 months to 16 years. The male victims were significantly younger than the female victims (respective median ages, 7 and 10 years), reported more violence, and had more evidence of trauma when initially seen. White and Hispanic girls were older than the black female victims (respective median ages, 12 and 8 years), whereas racial origin had no effect on the age distribution among male victims. Younger victims, regardless of sex or racial origin, were more likely than older children to be assaulted repetitively by someone known to them and at home and to experience less violence.

(Am J Dis Child 1982;136:129-134)