The use of substances in sexual offending in a United States sample

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Substance use is often involved in sexual offending. Understanding the ways in which substances are used in sexual offending is critical for developing prevention strategies. The present study explored the ways that substances are involved in the perpetration of sexual abuse against adults and minors, including intoxication and supplying substances to victims by individuals convicted of sexual offenses. Data were collected from the records of 2803 individuals convicted of sexual offenses in the United States. A series of binary logistic regressions found that offenses against adults were more likely to have alcohol or drugs involved than offenses against minors, while supplying substances to victims was less likely in intrafamilial than in extrafamilial offenses against minors. Findings suggest that implementing sexual violence prevention strategies (e.g. bystander intervention) in adult drinking contexts and integrating education about problematic substance use behaviors (e.g. grooming) during childhood prevention programs can aid in sexual abuse prevention.

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Psychiatry, Psychology and Law