What Challenges Are Boys Facing, and What Opportunities Exist To Address Those Challenges? Fact Sheet: Victimization and Mortality*. Some Facts About Victimization and Mortality


Boys as Victims and as Victimizers

  • Adolescent boys are more likely than girls to be the victims of almost all types of serious violent crimes, including assault, robbery, and homicide. Boys’ risk of victimization increases as they get older.(1),(2),(3)
  • In 2006, school was the most common setting for violent victimizations: 53% of victimization for 12- to 14-year-olds and 32% of victimization for 15- to 17-year-olds occurred on school grounds.(4)
  • From 1993 to 2003, the nonfatal violent victimization rate for boys ages 12 to 17 was about 50% higher than for girls.(5)
  • A 2005 study found that boys and girls were almost equally likely to report dating violence; about 9% of boys and girls reported being hit by a romantic partner.(6)
  • In 2001, 30% of boys and girls in the sixth through tenth grades bullied others; the same percentage of boys and girls were a target of bullying.(7)


  • In 2005, the three major causes of death for all adolescents were car accidents, homicide, and suicide, respectively.(8)
  • In 2004, boys ages 15 to 19 were five times more likely to die from homicide and seven times more likely to die from a firearm-related incident than girls.(9)
  • Nearly three-quarters of teen homicides were attributed to gang violence in 2002.(10)
  • Teen homicide and firearm death rates declined overall from the mid-1990s through 2004, but suicide rates increased slightly between 2003 and 2004.(11)
  • In 2004, rates of suicide for adolescent boys (12.6 per 100,000 youth) were about three and a half times the rate for adolescent girls (3.5 per 100,000 youth).(12)
  • In 2004, the homicide rate for Black teen boys was 55 per 100,000, compared with 26 for Hispanic boys, 15 for American Indian boys, and 3 for non-Hispanic White boys.(13)
  • In 2006, more than 1,500 youth under the age of 18 were murdered in the United States. Almost 75% of these young people were boys.(14)
  • Overall, the mortality rates for adolescent boys decreased from 1980 to 2003. Rates for boys ages 10 to 14 decreased from 38 to 23 per 100,000. For boys ages 15 to 19, the rates dropped from 141 per 100,000 in 1980 to 92 per 100,000 in 2003.(15)
  • In 2006, death rates were higher for adolescent boys than for adolescent girls. For adolescents ages 10 to 14, the death rate for boys was 1.5 times that of girls; this difference in rates increased to 2.4 times for adolescents ages 15 to 19 and 2.8 times for young adults ages 20 to 24.(16)

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