Click Here to download “Forced to Have Sexual Intercourse by Family Structure, Age at First Intercourse, and Partner Status at First Intercourse”

Forced to Have Sexual Intercourse by Family Structure, Age at First Intercourse, and Partner Status at First Intercourse

The 2002 cycle of the National Survey of Family Growth showed that, among women aged 38 to 44,[1] ever being forced to have sexual intercourse was least common among those raised in an intact married family and among those who save sex for marriage.

Family Structure: At the time of the survey, fewer women raised in an intact family had ever been forced to have sexual intercourse than those raised in a non-intact family. Thirty eight percent of those raised in an always single parent family had been forced to have intercourse, followed by those raised in a single divorced-parent family (36.6 percent), those raised in a married stepfamily (36.3 percent), those raised in an intact cohabiting family (27.4 percent), and those raised in a cohabiting stepfamily (25 percent). Women aged 38 to 44 raised in an intact married family were least likely to have been forced to have sexual intercourse (23.2 percent). [2]   

Age at First Intercourse: The National Survey of Family Growth showed that fifty three percent of those who had their first intercourse before age 15 were ever forced to have sexual intercourse, dropping to twenty-eight percent of those who had their first intercourse between ages 15 and 17, and seventeen percent of those who had their first intercourse at age 18 or older.

 

Partner Status at First Intercourse: Nineteen percent of women who were married at their first intercourse had ever experienced forced sexual intercourse. This figure rose to thirty percent for those cohabiting at their first intercourse and twenty-seven percent for those who were neither cohabiting nor married at their first intercourse.

Related Insights from Other Studies: A 1989 analysis showed that among white girls, having lived apart from one’s parents for more than four months prior to age 16 was associated with an increased likelihood of having been sexually abused, even after controlling for other factors. Parental drug use, heavy drinking, and smoking (during the teenage years) were other factors associated with an increased likelihood of experiencing sexual abuse. Poverty was found to be marginally associated with the risk of experiencing sexual abuse.[3]

 

[1] NSFG only surveys women up to age 44.  The oldest group of women was selected in order to capture the most complete range of outcomes for sexual experience.

[2] These charts draw on data collected by the National Survey of Family Growth, 2002

[3] Kristin Anderson Moore, Christine Winquist Nord, and James L. Peterson, “Nonvoluntary Sexual Activity Among Adolescents,” Family Planning Perspectives 21, no. 3 (1989): 110-114.