Almost a quarter of adolescent girls have experienced some form of sexual violence

A survey of more than four thousand adolescents between fourteen and seventeen years old reveals that a very significant percentage of the total has suffered some type of sexual abuse during the last year.

Oliver Thansan
Oliver Thansan
24 March 2024 Sunday 16:29
6 Reads
Almost a quarter of adolescent girls have experienced some form of sexual violence

A survey of more than four thousand adolescents between fourteen and seventeen years old reveals that a very significant percentage of the total has suffered some type of sexual abuse during the last year. Specifically, 17.8% of young Spaniards have suffered some form of sexual violence. Girls are the most affected, with 24% of the total, a very high figure, since it amounts to almost a quarter of those consulted. The abuse that boys receive drops to 11.2%; On the other hand, this second group more frequently reports very serious forms that include penetration or oral sex by adults, known and unknown.

From this study carried out in Spain with a representative sample of the country on sexual victimization in adolescence, a very shocking fact emerges: the sexual exploitation that is carried out on boys and girls "from a European country who exchange sex for gifts, rewards, alcohol or drugs, or even attention from an adult figure,” explains Noemí Pereda, director of the Research Group on Child and Adolescent Victimization at the UB and professor at the University of Barcelona.

For the researcher, “we should reflect a lot on this issue so closely related to the trivialization that has occurred of sexual exploitation, as well as the very premature access to pornography,” she explains. This situation affects more or less equally 2.6% of those surveyed. The UB professor points out that this is an important problem and very little studied in Spain. In fact, "the figures in Europe are between 1.5% and 2%, so the Spanish reality exceeds this highest range."

Another significant fact for the team of researchers is the sexual violence suffered between equals, that is to say that it is not about adults who sexually abuse or who sexually please, but rather it is the classmates or friends themselves who especially attack the girls. . “This lack of affective-sexual education that characterizes our country is greatly affecting this prevalence,” says Pereda. 11% of girls have been victims by other individuals of the same age range and 5.9% of boys.

According to the study, which was presented at CaixaForum Madrid, the most frequent form of victimization among Spanish adolescents is electronic (12.1%) and is reported by 5.9% of boys and 18.3% of girls. . Next, with 8.8%, is sexual victimization by peers. Next comes sexual victimization with physical contact by adults, which reaches 3.1% and affects boys and girls similarly.

Regarding sexual victimization with physical contact carried out by known adults, parents were the main figures who committed the victimization - touching, oral sex or penetration - followed by another adult family figure. Regarding physical sexual victimization carried out by peers or minors, the most frequent attacks come from classmates or friends from school, followed by other boys and girls who are not part of the family unit. These are precisely cases of exploitation with touching, penetration or oral sex, the most frequent was contact in person, outside on the street, in the educational center or in the home itself.

With all this data in hand, Pereda believes that specific action plans must be applied by political, social and educational agents due to “the magnitude of the problem.” For this reason, the authors of the study highlight the importance of promoting a national social awareness campaign about the problem and organizing educational activities on sexual violence in community spaces.