A comparison of peer and non-peer exposure to unwanted early sexual experiences among students in South Africa and Belgium

Arlynn Revell, Lionel Nicholas

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    This study examined peer and non-peer unwanted early sexual experiences (UESE) among 3,689 university students to establish whether peer UESE is as coercive and bothersome as non-peer UESE.MethodA self-report checklist was administered to all consenting students attending an orientation programme at one South African (SA) and one Belgian university.ResultsOf the respondents 21 indicated that they had UESE before their 16th birthday (39.2 SA and 13.5 Belgians). Of respondents indicating UESE, 22.4 (173) reported that they had UESE with a person where the age difference was greater than 5 years and 54.2 (418) reported UESE with an age difference less than 5 years. Overall, a statistically significant difference was found between peer exposed and non-peer exposed groups at the time the UESE occurred related to bothersomeness of the UESE. SA men and women experienced more psychological pressure or physical force among the non-peer exposed group than the peer exposed group.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)149 - 159
    Number of pages11
    JournalJournal of Child and Adolescent Mental Health
    Issue number2
    Publication statusPublished - 2013

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