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Violence Vict. 2009;24(1):98-110.

Sexual assault in men: a population-based study of Virginia.

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Department of Epidemiology and Community Health, Virginia Commonwealth University, Richmond, VA 23298-0212, USA.


Male sexual assault is a serious public health issue that is mostly underreported and unrecognized. A population-based study was conducted on 705 adult men in Virginia. The study found a lifetime prevalence of 12.9% among men, with 94% assaulted for the first time before the age of 18. Regression analysis showed that male victims of sexual violence were 3.4 times more likely to be depressed and 2.4 times more likely to ideate suicide. However, only 15.4% sought counseling. This study confirms that male sexual assault is a prevalent problem. It is also evident that victimized men were more likely to be depressed and ideate suicide and yet did not seek health services. Efforts should be made to reach men with a history of sexual assault.

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