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Polyvictimization Prevalence Rates for Sexual and Gender Minority Adolescents: Breaking Down the Silos of Victimization Research

NCJ Number
Date Published
March 2017
16 pages
This study identified lifetime polyvictimization rates by gender identity and sexual orientation for a national sample of sexual and gender minority adolescents (SGMA).
Study methodology involved the use of an anonymous, incentivized, online survey that was completed by 1,177 sexual and gender minority adolescents who were currently enrolled in middle or high school (14-19 years old). Age, sexual orientation, gender identity, assigned birth sex, and race/ethnicity were self-reported, with identity categories drawn from previous SGMA research and refined during the survey development phase. The study found that most of the sample had experienced some form of lifetime physical assault (81.3 percent); bullying (88.8 percent); sexual victimization (80.6 percent); child maltreatment (78.8 percent); property victimization (80.1 percent); and indirect or witnessed forms of victimization (75.0 percent). The overall rate of polyvictimization for the sample was 41.3 percent. When examining sexual orientation, "pansexual" adolescents had the highest overall rate of lifetime polyvictimization, followed by "queer", "questioning," "bisexual," "other," "lesbian," and "gay". Important differences in lifetime polyvictimization rates were observed by race/ethnicity, poverty, and urbanicity. In drawing implications from the findings, this report argues that they provide empirical support for the necessity to have federal legislation that targets sexual and gender minority victimization across various contexts and perpetrators. Transgender males and bisexual adolescents are most in need of clinical and legal assistance in preventing negative health outcomes and future violence. 4 tables and 14 references

Date Published: March 1, 2017