Prevalence, characteristics, and associations of sexual abuse with sociodemographics and consensual sex in a population-based sample of Swedish adolescents

J Child Sex Abus. 2009 Jan-Feb;18(1):19-39. doi: 10.1080/10538710802584635.


The purpose of this study was to investigate lifetime prevalence and characteristics of self-reported child sexual abuse and associations between child sexual abuse, gender, sociodemographic data, and consensual sexual experiences. A questionnaire was completed by 4,339 Swedish high school seniors. Three categories of child sexual abuse were studied: noncontact, contact without penetration, and penetrating child sexual abuse. Penetrating child sexual abuse was correlated with the most severe abuse characteristics. Students reporting child sexual abuse, especially penetrating child sexual abuse, were more likely to not be living with both parents, to have parents with lower socioeconomic status, and to have their first consensual intercourse at a young age. The study showed that distinct categories of child sexual abuse must be employed since each category shows a specific pattern concerning abuse characteristics, sociodemographics, and consensual sex.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adolescent Behavior / psychology*
  • Catchment Area, Health
  • Child Abuse, Sexual / psychology
  • Child Abuse, Sexual / statistics & numerical data*
  • Cluster Analysis
  • Female
  • Health Status
  • Humans
  • Interpersonal Relations*
  • Male
  • Prevalence
  • Sex Distribution
  • Socioeconomic Factors
  • Students / statistics & numerical data*
  • Sweden / epidemiology
  • Truth Disclosure*