Objective: Adolescents and adults with a history of sexual victimization (SV) are at increased risk of engaging in sexual risk behaviors. This study seeks to examine race- and gender-based differences in SV as well as the association between SV and reproductive health outcomes (pregnancy and sexually transmitted infections [STIs]) among young adults from an urban community with high rates of both outcomes. Methods: This study used cross-sectional data from the Young Adult Survey of the Baltimore Prevention Program's intervention trials. Participants initially enrolled as first graders were interviewed for the Young Adult Survey as they entered adulthood. A total of 1698 participants were asked about SV, pregnancy, and STIs. Data were analyzed by logistic regression analysis. Results: History of SV did not vary by racial background, but female participants were more likely to report SV than their male peers. Results for models predicting STIs revealed a significant interaction between gender and SV. Adolescent girls who reported a SV were significantly more likely to have an STI than adolescent girls who did not report victimization. Both adolescent boys and girls who reported SV were more likely to report involvement in a pregnancy. Conclusions: Youth in urban communities with a history of SV are far more likely than those without victimization histories to have a pregnancy or STI before young adulthood. Further research is needed to explore the mediators of these outcomes and the value of sexual safety and child protection programs for pregnancy and STI prevention in urban environments.
- sexual victimization
- sexually transmitted infection
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health