The Nature and Predictors of Sexual Victimization and Offending among Adolescents

Christopher D. Maxwell*, Amanda L. Robinson, Lori A. Post

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

70 Scopus citations


This study describes the risk factors associated with experiencing and committing sexual aggression among a sample of male and female adolescents. High school students completed a questionnaire containing a revised form of the Sexual Experiences Survey to assess sexual victimization and offending experiences. Ordinal regression equations were estimated separately for male and female students, regressing background characteristics, dating behaviors, and attitudinal scales on sexual victimization (for females) or offending (for males). Nearly half (48%) of the females report experiencing sexual aggression, and one-third (34%) of males admit committing this type of offending. Regression analyses show that the likelihood of reporting victimization/offending increases among females who report dating more frequently during the past month, among both males and females who report dating more different people during the past 6 months, and among older males. Females who report their religious affiliation as Protestants compared to those with no religious affiliation, and those planning to attend college are less likely to report victimization. Among the males, rejecting rape stereotypes and having more accurate legal knowledge regarding rape are related to reduced likelihoods of reporting sexual offending. Implications for improving sexual assault educational programs for adolescents are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)465-477
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Youth and Adolescence
Issue number6
StatePublished - Dec 2003


  • Adolescent sexual aggression
  • Date rape
  • Intimate partner violence
  • Sexual assault

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology
  • Education
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Social Sciences (miscellaneous)


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