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Research - Abstract

  Cite this article:

Ismail Yahaya, Joaquim Soares, Antonio Ponce De Leon, Gloria Macassa. A comparative study of the socioeconomic factors associated with childhood sexual abuse in sub-Saharan Africa.
The Pan African Medical Journal. 2012;11:51

Key words: Childhood Sexual abuse, sexual violence, sub-Saharan Africa, socio-demographic factors, demographic and health survey

Permanent link: http://www.panafrican-med-journal.com/content/article/11/51/full

Received: 31/01/2011 - Accepted: 14/03/2012 - Published: 19/03/2012

© Ismail Yahaya et al.   The Pan African Medical Journal - ISSN 1937-8688. This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

A comparative study of the socioeconomic factors associated with childhood sexual abuse in sub-Saharan Africa


Ismail Yahaya1,2,3,&, Joaquim Soares1,4, Antonio Ponce De Leon1,4, Gloria Macassa1,4,5


1Department of Public Health Sciences, Mid-Sweden University, Sweden, 2Department of Public Health & Biostatistics, University of Birmingham, UK, 3Centre for Evidence-Based Global Health, Nigeria, 4Division of Social Medicine, Department of Public Health Sciences, Karolinska Intitutet, Sweden, 5Department of Occupational and Public Health Sciences, University of Gavle, Sweden



&Corresponding author
Ismail Yahaya, Department of Public Health Sciences, Mid-Sweden University, Sweden




Childhood sexual abuse (CSA) is a problem of considerable proportion in Africa where up to one-third of adolescent girls report their first sexual experience as being forced. The impact of child hood sexual abuse resonates in all areas of health. The aim of this study was to describe the prevalence of childhood sexual abuse and variations across socioeconomic status in six sub-Saharan countries.




Datasets from Demographic and Health Surveys (DHS) in six sub-Saharan African countries conducted between 2003 and 2007 were used to access the relationship between CSA and socio economic status using multiple logistic regression models.




There was no association between CSA and education, wealth and area of settlement. However, there was contrasting association between CSA and working status of women.




This study concurs with other western studies which indicate that CSA transcends across all socio economic group. It is therefore important that effective preventive strategies are developed and implemented that will cross across all socio-economic groups.