Screen Readers Skip to Content
Tweet Facebook Email
Print Page

Males with Disabilities 4 Times More Likely to be Sexually Abused

Outline: Researchers report men with disabilities more than four times more likely to be victimized by sexual assaults compared to men without disabilities.

Main Digest

Men with disabilities 4 times more likely to be sexually abused than men without disabilities, according to new study in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine.

Previous studies have documented that women with disabilities are more likely to be sexually assaulted than women without disabilities.

A new study published online today in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine is the first population-based investigation to examine sexual violence victimization against men with disabilities.

Researchers report that men with disabilities are more than four times more likely to be victimized by sexual assaults compared to men without disabilities.

"Men with disabilities are at a heightened risk for lifetime and current sexual violence victimization," according to lead investigator Monika Mitra, PhD, Research Scientist, Center for Health Policy and Research, and Assistant Professor, Department of Family Medicine and Community Health, University of Massachusetts Medical School.

"The most notable finding is that the prevalence of lifetime sexual violence, completed rape, and attempted rape against men with disabilities was comparable to that against women without disabilities, and past-year rates for men with disabilities exceeded those for women without disabilities."

Dr. Mitra adds that "this study also broadened research of such victimization against men with disabilities beyond the intimate partner context to acquaintances and strangers, as well as family members, intimate partners, and dates. This is particularly relevant for people with disabilities whom earlier studies have suggested are especially likely to experience abuse from caregivers and personal care and other attendants, in addition to intimate partners."

Investigators from the University of Massachusetts Medical School and the Massachusetts Department of Public Health used data from close to 22,000 respondents collected as part of the 2005 Massachusetts Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (MA-BRFSS), which is an annual health survey of non-institutionalized adults conducted in collaboration with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

Approximately 13.9% of men with disabilities reported lifetime sexual violence, compared to 3.7% of men without disabilities, 26.6% of women with disabilities, and 12.4% of women without disabilities.

Men with disabilities (5.3%) were more likely to report past-year sexual violence than men (1.5%) and women (2.4%) without disabilities and less likely than women with disabilities (6.3%).

Participants were asked:

To determine disability status, respondents were asked whether they had limitations because of physical, mental, or emotional problems, any health problem that required use of special equipment, trouble learning, remembering or concentrating because of a health problem or impairment, or a physical, mental, emotional, or communication-related disability.

Those responding yes to any of these questions and whose disability had limited their activities for at least one year were classified as having a disability.

The article is "Sexual Violence Victimization Against Men with Disabilities " by Monika Mitra, PhD, Vera E. Mouradian, PhD, and Marci Diamond, MPA. (doi: 10.1016/j.amepre.2011.07.014). It appears in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine, Volume 41, Issue 5 (November 2011) published by Elsevier.

Similar Documents

(i)Source/Reference: Elsevier Health Sciences. Disabled World makes no warranties or representations in connection therewith. Content may have been edited for style, clarity or length.

If you use an RSS feed reader you are welcome to subscribe to our latest Sexuality publications.

Important Disclaimer:
Disabled World is strictly a news and information website. Information provided is for general informational purpose only, it is not offered as and does not constitute medical advice. In no way are any of the materials presented meant to be a substitute for professional medical care or attention by a qualified practitioner, nor should they be construed as such. Any 3rd party offering or advertising on disabled-world.com does not constitute endorsement by Disabled World. Please report outdated or inaccurate information to us.