The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Youth Risk Behavior Survey (2006) focused on the behavior of high school students. For the year 2003, a little less than 9% of males (8.9%) and females (8.8%) reported violent victimization at the hands of a dating partner in the previous 12 months.5 The rate of dating violence was highest among black students (13.7% for males; 14% for females) and lower for whites (7.5% for females; 6.6% for males).
As with studies of dating violence in high school, the data from colleges show that females are as, or more, likely than males to use violence toward a dating partner. Across the universities, the rates of severe assault by females were higher compared to males (Kaukinsen, 2014; Straus, 2014). Males in nonmarital relationships generally exceeded females only in terms of inflicting injury, but the difference was quite small.6
It is fair to say that males are generally overlooked in studies of sexual violence. And yet, across numerous self-report surveys, males do report being victims of rape or sexual assault. Data from the National Violence Against Women Survey (Tjaden & Thoennes, 2000) included responses from 8,000 representatively sampled men. Two men in 100 stated they were victims of a completed rape, while
9 men in 1,000 reported they were victims of an attempted rape. A more recent national survey reports that 1 in 59 U.S. adults (2.7 million women and 978,000 men) experienced unwanted sexual activity in the 12 months preceding the survey, and that 1 in 15 U.S. adults (11.7 million women and 2.1 million men) had been forced to have sex during their lifetime (Basile et al., 2007). Sixty percent (60.4%) of females and 69.2% of males were 17 years old or younger at the time the first forced sex occurred. Some of the sexual victimization reported in that survey was sexual abuse of a minor and non-intimate partner sexual abuse. Most recently, the National Intimate Partner and Sexual Abuse Survey (Black et al., 2011) found that 1 in 17 men (1.4%) reported being raped at some point in their lives. That number probably includes sexual assault by individuals other than intimate partners. In terms of sexual assaults, more than half of the men reported a sexual assault by an acquaintance. Of the men who reported they were forced to penetrate another partner, nearly half (44.8%) reported they penetrated an intimate partner. A considerable amount of the sexual assault experienced by men (27.8%) first occurred when the men were ten years of age or younger.