Sexual assault in postmenopausal women

Susan M. Ramin, Andrew J. Satin, Irving C. Stone, George D. Wendel

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

60 Scopus citations


To examine patient characteristics, patterns of injury, forensic evidence, and the frequency of sexual assault in postmenopausal rape victims from 1986–1991. Methods: Medical and forensic records were reviewed from 129 postmenopausal women (50 years of age or older) and 129 women from a comparison group (14-49 years of age) who reported having been sexually assaulted. Statistical analysis was performed by Student t test, χ2, multiple logistic regression, or Fisher exact test. Results: Postmenopausal women represented 2.2% of women reporting sexual assault in Dallas County. The postmenopausal victim was more often white (64%), whereas the younger victim was more often black (53%). Drug or alcohol use within the previous 24 hours was more common in the younger group. Trauma, in general, was common, occurring in 67% of the postmenopausal women and 71% of the younger group (P = not significant). Genital trauma was more common in the postmenopausal group (43 versus 18%; P <.001). Nearly one in three postmenopausal women had genital abrasions or edema. Almost one in five older women had genital lacerations, with one in four severe enough to require surgical repair. In contrast, the frequency of extragenital trauma was more common in younger victims (66 versus 49%; P <.01). Forensic findings were similar in both groups; however, in postmenopausal women motile spermatozoa were seen only in those examined within 6 hours of the assault. Conclusion: Postmenopausal women who have been sexually assaulted are more likely to sustain genital trauma than younger victims.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)860-864
Number of pages5
JournalObstetrics and gynecology
Issue number5
StatePublished - Nov 1992
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Obstetrics and Gynecology


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