Send to:

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
J Adolesc Health. 1997 Jul;21(1):3-10.

Ethnic differences in childhood and adolescent sexual abuse and teenage pregnancy.

Author information

  • 1College of Nursing, Arizona State University, Tempe, USA.



This study examined ethnic differences in childhood and adolescent sexual abuse and the effect on teenage pregnancy rates.


A 20-page questionnaire elicited information about women's sexual and pregnancy history, high-risk behaviors, and sexual abuse, based a modified version of the Koss and Oros Sexual Experiences Survey. Over 1,900 women between 18 and 22 years old were recruited at 44 urban and rural sites. Women representing four ethnic groups completed an English or Spanish version of the questionnaire.


Almost 36% of the women reported sex abuse before age 18 years of age, and more than 26% were pregnant before reaching 18 years old (teenage pregnancy). Compared with their nonabused peers, twice as many women who were coerced into sex or raped had a teenage pregnancy. Minority group teens were more likely than Anglos to have a teenage pregnancy and to have been coerced into having sex, rather than raped, prior to teenage pregnancy.


Over one-third of pregnant teenagers in this study have been sexually abused, usually involving sexual intercourse, prior to becoming pregnant. Coercive sexual abuse is more likely to contribute to teenage pregnancy among minority group teens, whereas rape is more likely to contribute to a teenage pregnancy among Anglos.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for Elsevier Science
    Loading ...
    Write to the Help Desk