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Prevalence Of Sexual Abuse In Men

March 26, 1999

Lifetime prevalence, characteristics and associated problems of non-consensual sex in men: cross sectional survey

Medical Professionals need to be aware of the adverse psychological effects on men who have been the victim of a non-consensual sexual experience, say researchers from Royal Free and University College and St George's Hospital Medical Schools in London in this week's BMJ. In their study of nearly 2,500 men (2474) in England, Professor Michael King and colleagues found that around three per cent of men reported non-consensual sexual experiences as adults. These men suffered a greater prevalence of psychological problems than the general population, including alcohol misuse and self-harm.

These findings are the first epidemiological data to be recorded in Europe on the prevalence of non-consensual sexual experiences in men and the authors say that their figures are likely to be modest in light of the fact that many victims do not wish to discuss what has happened to them. Whilst interviewing the men, the researchers also found that over one in twenty (5.4 per cent) had been subjected to non-consensual sexual experiences as children and that this in turn was a significant predictor of a similar experience in adulthood. King et al comment that previous research has concentrated on the possibility of sexually abused boys becoming perpetrators in adulthood and that the possibility of early abuse leading to further victimisation as adults is a concept that has been neglected.

Contact:

Professor Michael King, Head of Department, Department of Psychiatry and Behavioural Sciences, Royal Free and University College Medical School, London Email: mike@rfhsm.ac.uk
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BMJ

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