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Prevalence of Diverse Genders and Sexualities in Australia and Associations With Five Forms of Child Maltreatment and Multi-type Maltreatment.

Child Maltreatment 2024 January 13
This study presents the most comprehensive national prevalence estimates of diverse gender and sexuality identities in Australians, and the associations with five separate types of child maltreatment and their overlap (multi-type maltreatment). Using Australian Child Maltreatment Study (ACMS) data ( N = 8503), 9.5% of participants identified with a diverse sexuality and .9% with a diverse gender. Diverse identities were more prevalent in the youth cohort, with 17.7% of 16-24 years olds identifying with a diverse sexuality and 2.3% with a diverse gender. Gender and sexuality diversity also intersect - for example, with women (aged 16-24 and 25-44) more likely than men to identify as bisexual. The prevalence of physical abuse, sexual abuse, emotional abuse, neglect and exposure to domestic violence was very high for those with diverse sexuality and/or gender identities. Maltreatment was most prevalent for participants in the youth cohort with diverse gender identities (90.5% experiencing some form of child maltreatment; 77% multi-type maltreatment) or diverse sexualities (85.3% reporting any child maltreatment; 64.3% multi-type maltreatment). The strong association found between child maltreatment and diverse sexuality and gender identities is critical for understanding the social and mental health vulnerabilities of these groups, and informing services needed to support them.

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