Growing up with Media is the only national US longitudinal survey of youth designed to study the emergence of sexual violence (SV) perpetration in adolescence. It began in 2006 to examine the long-term linkages between exposure to violent media and the subsequent expression of violent behaviors among 1,600 youth. In 2010, when the youth cohort was 14-17 years of age, the study was re-funded to examine the emergence of sexual violence behavior in adolescence. Preliminary findings suggest that, compared to 9% of heterosexual youth, 33% of sexual minority youth have perpetrated sexual assault, attempted or completed rape, or coercive sex in their lifetime. Similarly, high rates of perpetration are noted for gender minority (49%) versus cisgender youth (11%). This project explores if and how the contextual factors that predict the emergence of SV perpetration are similar and different for sexual and gender minority (SGM) and non-sexual and gender minority youth.
The research objectives of this project are to illuminate how contextual factors that predict the emergence of SV perpetration are similar and different for SGM and non-SGM youth. The research team sought to examine how contextual factors (operationalized as: Sexual and/or gender minority status, general and distal minority stressors, environmental circumstances, and coping and social support) are similar and different predictors of SV for SGM and non-SGM youth. This study will hopefully result in closing the gaps in our understanding of how and why SV perpetration emerges in adolescence for SGM youth – and importantly, what can be done to prevent it.
Principal Investigators: Dr. Michele Ybarra
Co-Investigators: Dr. Kimberly Mitchell, Dr. Hanno Petras, and Dr. Elizabeth Saewyc
Funded by the National Institute of Health under the grant “Course and Prediction of Sexual Perpetration in Adolescence through Young Adulthood”, 2017-2020