The sexual abuse of Afro-American and white-American women in childhood

Child Abuse Negl. 1985;9(4):507-19. doi: 10.1016/0145-2134(85)90060-2.


This study examined the prevalence of child sexual abuse in a multi-stage stratified probability sample of Afro-American and white-American women, 18 to 36 years of age, in Los Angeles County. The sample ranged in demographic characteristics by age, marital status, education and the presence of children. Of the total sample of 248 women, 154 (62%) reported at least one incident of sexual abuse prior to age 18, with 57% of Afro-American women and 67% of white-American women having been abused. Sexual abuse before the age of 18 appears to be of equal concern for both ethnic groups, although similarities and differences in the circumstances under which abuse incidents occurred were subtle and deserve attention. The need for identifying contemporary factors that contribute to the prevalence of abuse over the past 40 years is stressed.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • African Americans*
  • Age Factors
  • Child
  • Child Abuse*
  • European Continental Ancestry Group*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Incest
  • Risk
  • Sex Offenses*
  • United States