Dating Violence and Peer Victimization Among Male, Female, Transgender, and Gender-Expansive Youth

Pediatrics. 2021 Mar 25:e2020004317. doi: 10.1542/peds.2020-004317. Online ahead of print.


BACKGROUND AND OBJECTIVES: Transgender adolescents experience disproportionately high rates of dating violence and peer victimization. However, research has relied on small samples of transgender youth and has not captured victimization experiences of gender-expansive youth (who do not identify as male, female, or transgender). In the current study, we address these limitations, comparing victimization by gender.

METHODS: We examined a subsample of 4464 male, female, transgender, and gender-expansive youth (1116 per group) from the 2018 Illinois Youth Survey who were frequency matched on grade, race, geographic region, and free or reduced lunch status. Prevalence of self-reported verbal, physical, and cyber peer victimization and physical and psychological dating violence was calculated. Adjusted prevalence ratios were obtained by using log-binomial regression.

RESULTS: The highest rates across all forms of victimization were reported among transgender (15.6%-51.6%) and gender-expansive (13.2%-41.4%) youth. Transgender youth had a 2.09 to 2.96 times higher frequency of victimization than male youth and a 1.34 to 2.65 times higher frequency of victimization than female youth. Transgender youth also had higher frequencies of specific forms of victimization than gender-expansive youth. Gender-expansive youth had a 1.83 to 2.61 times higher frequency of victimization than male youth and 1.18 to 2.35 times higher frequencies of most forms of victimization than female youth.

CONCLUSIONS: Disparities in dating violence and peer victimization rates exist among transgender and gender-expansive adolescents compared with male and female youth. The distinct experiences of transgender and gender-expansive youth should be considered in school policies and violence prevention programs.

PMID:33766918 | DOI:10.1542/peds.2020-004317