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Am J Public Health. 2011 Jun;101(6):1068-74. doi: 10.2105/AJPH.2010.300060. Epub 2011 Apr 14.

Prevalence and correlates of forced sex perpetration and victimization in Botswana and Swaziland.

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  • 1Department of Psychiatry, University of California, San Francisco, USA. atsai@hsph.harvard.edu



We sought to identify correlates of forced sex perpetration among men and victimization among women in Botswana and Swaziland.


We surveyed a 2-stage probability sample of 2074 adults from the 5 districts of Botswana with the highest HIV prevalence rates and all 4 regions of Swaziland. We used multivariable logistic regression to identify correlates of forced sex victimization and perpetration.


Lifetime prevalence rates of forced sex victimization of women were 10.3% in Botswana and 11.4% in Swaziland; among men, rates of perpetration were 3.9% in Botswana and 5.0% in Swaziland. Lifetime history of forced sex victimization was the strongest predictor of forced sex perpetration by men in Botswana (adjusted odds ratio [OR] = 13.70; 95% confidence interval [CI] = 4.55, 41.50) and Swaziland (adjusted OR = 5.98; 95% CI = 1.08, 33.10). Problem or heavy drinking was the strongest predictor of forced sex victimization among women in Botswana (adjusted OR = 2.55; 95% CI = 1.19, 5.49) and Swaziland (OR = 14.70; 95% CI = 4.53, 47.60).


Sexual violence in Botswana and Swaziland is a major public health and human rights problem. Ending codified gender discrimination can contribute to fundamentally changing gender norms and may be an important lever for gender-based violence prevention in these countries.

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