Number/percent of adolescents who have experienced coercive or forced sex

The number or percent of adolescents reporting some form of coerced or forced sex including: rape, date rape, domestic violence (resulting in sexual intercourse), sexual assault, sexual harassment, incest, and sexual mo­lestation (Kidman, 1993)

As a percent, this indicator is calculated as:

(# of adolescents reporting forced or coerced sex/ Total # of adolescents) x 100


Self-reports of adolescents of the occurrence of coerced or forced sex either in the immediate or distant past; data should be disaggregated by male and female

Evaluators may want to disaggregate by the following age ranges: 10-14, 15-19, and 20-24.


Surveys of adolescents in a program‘s intended popula­tion; program "intake“ interviews; interviews during health service provision and/or in connection with edu­cational or counseling programs


Although most adolescent and youth sexual and reproductive health (AYSRH) programs emphasize self-efficacy and decision-making with regard to sexual relations and contraception, many adolescents, especially female ado­lescents, experience forced sexual encounters. At the 1994 International Conference on Population and De­velopment in Cairo and at the 1995 Fourth World Con­ference on Women in Beijing, discourse on sexual and reproductive rights appropriately characterized sexual coercion as a symptom of the limited life options of girls and young women. Thus, program models designed to reduce sexual activity among adolescents must not only offer information, but must also promote public acknowledgment of the prevalence of sexual coercion and of the gender inequality that fosters it. The plau­sible existence of a considerable amount of coerced sexual activity highlights the inadequacy of current AYSRH program models, which primarily assume that sexual activity among adolescents is voluntary (Mensch, Bruce, and Greene, 1998).


This indicator provides a measure of the relative fre­quency of adolescents victimized by forced sex. For various reasons, incidents of coerced or forced sex are likely to be significantly under-reported in survey in­terviews, particularly among males. Evaluators can likely obtain more complete reporting in connection with counseling programs. How­ever, in many settings, such programs reach so few ado­lescents, that the actual incidence is likely to be seri­ously under-reported. Because of the sensitivity of this matter, interviewers must often ask questions about co­ercive sex repeatedly to offer adolescent respondents an opportunity to disclose their experience with forced sex. One potentially effective way of broaching the sub­ject is to ask the adolescent, "Did you have any upset­ting sexual experiences in childhood or adolescence?“ (Heise, Moore, and Toubia, 1995). Other researchers have also asked, "Did someone ever make you touch their breasts or genitals, or touch yours, when you did not want to?“ (Boyer and Fine, 1992). After receiving a positive response, researchers or counselors can probe more deeply by asking: the age at first abuse, the fre­quency of occurrence, the type of abuse, whether abused by one or more people, the relationship of abuser(s) to the respondent, the location of the abuse, and whether the respondent told anyone else about the abuse.


empowerment, violence, sexually transmitted infection (STI), HIV/AIDS, adolescent

For various reasons, when people think of coercive or forced sex, a female victim often comes to mind.  However, it is a gross disservice to boys and men to not recognize that some of them have been sexually abused too.  Based on data from the U.S. and Canada, researchers estimate that one in six men have experienced unwanted or abusive sexual experiences before age 16.  It is important for evaluators to be mindful of this and treat the question of experience with coercive or forced sex with the same sensitivity toward young men and women, equally. 

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