Sexual Violence in Childhood and Post-Childhood

The Experiences of Young Men Who Have Sex With Men in Beirut

Published in: Journal of Interpersonal Violence (2019). doi: 10.1177/0886260519880164

by Cynthia El Khoury, Matt G. Mutchler, Carol Abi Ghanem, Susan M. Kegeles, Elie Ballan, Jacques Mokhbat, Glenn Wagner

Read More

Access further information on this document at Sage Journals

This article was published outside of RAND. The full text of the article can be found at the link above.

Sexual violence has been found to have psychosocial and sexual ramifications for men who have sex with men (MSM) but has not been studied in the Middle East. We assessed the prevalence and correlates of experiences of child and post-child sexual violence among young MSM residing in Beirut, Lebanon. In total, 226 MSM, aged 18 to 29, were recruited with long-chain peer referrals and administered a survey that included questions on history of being pressured to have sex, as well as specific forms of sexual harassment and abuse, in addition to measures of psychosocial functioning and sexual behavior. Logistic regression analysis was used to examine correlates of child sex abuse and experiences of sexual violence post-childhood; 17.3% experienced sexual abuse as a child (below age 13), while 63.3% experienced any form of sexual violence post-childhood—furthermore, 48.7% had experienced being forced or pressured to have sex during their lifetime, including 32.3% prior to age 18. Participants who experienced child sex abuse were more likely to experience abusive relationships in adulthood, as well as at least one type of sexual harassment/abuse post-childhood. Experience of any sexual violence post-childhood was correlated with greater recent sexuality-related discrimination and more recent male sex partners. These findings reveal a high prevalence of sexual violence among MSM in Beirut, both in childhood and post-childhood. More research within the Middle East is needed to better understand the drivers of sexual violence in this population, and how to best provide prevention and coping services.

Research conducted by

This report is part of the RAND Corporation External publication series. Many RAND studies are published in peer-reviewed scholarly journals, as chapters in commercial books, or as documents published by other organizations.

Our mission to help improve policy and decisionmaking through research and analysis is enabled through our core values of quality and objectivity and our unwavering commitment to the highest level of integrity and ethical behavior. To help ensure our research and analysis are rigorous, objective, and nonpartisan, we subject our research publications to a robust and exacting quality-assurance process; avoid both the appearance and reality of financial and other conflicts of interest through staff training, project screening, and a policy of mandatory disclosure; and pursue transparency in our research engagements through our commitment to the open publication of our research findings and recommendations, disclosure of the source of funding of published research, and policies to ensure intellectual independence. For more information, visit

The RAND Corporation is a nonprofit institution that helps improve policy and decisionmaking through research and analysis. RAND's publications do not necessarily reflect the opinions of its research clients and sponsors.