Year of Publication



Public Health

Date Available


Degree Name

Master of Public Health (M.P.H.)

Committee Chair

Corrine Williams, Sc.D.

Committee Member

Richard Crosby, PhD

Committee Member

Christina Studts, Ph.D.


Introduction: Millions of women experience sexual violence which results in a plethora of adverse health consequences. Given the scope of the problem, more attention is needed to examine the complexities in which sexual violence occurs, and possible associations among sexual violence and related health behaviors. The present study analyzes whether a significant association between sexual violence and condom use and/or sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) exists, and whether consuming alcohol and/or drugs increases women’s risk of having unprotected sex and/or an STD.

Methods: Data from the National Survey of Family Growth 2006-2010 and 2011-2013 were analyzed using bivariate and multivariate chi-square tests. Bivariate chi-square assessed possible differences between women who experienced sexual violence, and demographic variables, condom use, STDs, binge drinking, marijuana use, and illicit drug use. Multivariate chi-square, controlling for binge drinking, marijuana use, and illicit drug use, assessed potential associations among sexual violence, outcomes, and covariates.

Results: Bivariate results indicate demographic variables, condom use during last sex, condom use during vaginal intercourse, STDs, binge drinking, marijuana use, and illicit drug use were significantly associated with sexual violence. No association was found between oral sex and sexual violence, and anal sex and sexual violence. Multivariate analyses show potential associations between sexual violence and certain variables.

Conclusions: This study suggests the experience of sexual violence matters in relation to certain health behaviors, and sexual violence victims may experience some protective factors. Limitations include inability to determine the sequence of events, not knowing the age a woman was victimized, and the inability to determine the consistency that women used condoms or the appropriateness of condom use.

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Public Health Commons