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Member Research and Reports

Member Research and Reports

Georgia State: The Association Between Gender Inequality and Sexual Violence in the U.S.

Dr. Dennis Reidy, faculty in the Georgia State University School of Public Health at Georgia State University, in a co-researcher on a report examining gender inequality’s association with state-level sexual violence published in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine (AJPM).

According to the researchers, few societal-level factors are established as risk or protective factors for sexual violence. Traditional gender norms and gender inequality are linked to sexual violence, but much of this type of research was conducted internationally or is becoming outdated and may not reflect current norms in the U.S. 

Using analysis that was conducted in 2019, the relationship between state-level gender inequality and lifetime victimization for various types of sexual violence among U.S. female and male adults were assessed.  The findings indicated that states with a high degree of gender inequality also reported higher prevalence estimates among women for rape using physical force. Gender inequality was also negatively correlated with noncontact unwanted sexual experiences among women and men. In addition, an exploratory analysis of the relationship between individual indicators of gender inequality and violence outcomes suggested that the adolescent birth rate, female government representation, and labor force participation demonstrated an association with certain state-level violence outcomes, although the patterns were inconsistent.

The research team’s findings suggested that gender inequality may represent an important societal-level factor associated with sexual violence among women and men, and the data may inform population-level violence prevention approaches.

Learn more about the publication in the AJPM

Learn more about Dr. Dennis Reidy.

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