Almost all perpetrators (98%) who reported age at first perpetration to be 15 years or younger were male, with similar but attenuated results among those who began at ages 16 or 17 years (90%).
It is not until ages 18 or 19 years that males (52%) and females (48%) are relatively equally represented as perpetrators.
Recruitment was balanced on youths’ biological sex and age.
Nearly 1 in 10 youths (9%) reported some type of sexual violence perpetration in their lifetime; 4% (10 females and 39 males) reported attempted or completed rape.
Sixteen years old was the mode age of first sexual perpetration (n = 18 [40%]).
Perpetrators reported greater exposure to violent X-rated content.
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Data were collected online in 2010 (wave 4) and 2011 (wave 5) in the national Growing Up With Media study.
Participants included 1058 youths aged 14 to 21 years who at baseline read English, lived in the household at least 50% of the time, and had used the Internet in the last 6 months.
Sexual violence perpetration appears to emerge earlier for males than females, perhaps suggesting different developmental trajectories.
Links between perpetration and violent sexual media are apparent, suggesting a need to monitor adolescents’ consumption of this material.
Victim blaming appears to be common, whereas experiencing consequences does not.