Sociology, Department of


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Published in Published in Violence and Victims 16:4 (2001), pp. 441–455. Copyright © 2001 Springer Publishing Company. Used by permission.


Based on the structural-choice theory of victimization, the current study examines the effects of a high-risk environment on the sexual victimization of 311 homeless and runaway youth. Results from logistic regression revealed that survival sex, gender, and physical appearance were significantly associated with sexual victimization. Results from a series of interactions also revealed that the effects of deviant behaviors on sexual victimization varied by gender and age. Although males and females engaged in similar activities, young women were more likely to be victims of sexual assault. These findings suggest that engaging in high-risk behaviors predispose some people to greater risks but it is the combination of these behaviors with gender and/or age that determines who will become victimized.

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