Sexual Abuse Is Terrible

Not that there are a whole lot of people on the fence about the issue, but a new study led by Selby Conrad helps illustrate the severe negative long-term effects that sexual abuse can have on females, and in particular females who may already be at-risk for other reasons.

Young female offenders represent a growing number of young offenders. Studies have shown that youth in the juvenile justice system, particularly young females, report higher rates of lifetime sexual abuse than their nonoffending peers. The aim of this study was to examine gender differences in risk factors for recidivism, including a history of sexual abuse, among a juvenile court clinic sample. Findings suggest that, even after accounting for previously identified risk factors for recidivism such as prior legal involvement and conduct problems, a history of sexual abuse is the most salient predictor of recidivism for young female offenders, but not for males. The development of gender-responsive interventions to reduce juvenile recidivism and continued legal involvement into adulthood may be warranted.

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