By Clare Wilson.
One in 16 US girls and women were forced into their first experience of sex, either physically or through other kinds of pressure. The figure comes from an analysis of a first time i have sex national survey of health and family life carried out by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Laura Hawks of Harvard Medical School and colleagues analysed the responses from 13, women aged between 18 and 44 who answered the survey in the past eight years. About 6. About half of these respondents said they had been held.
About a quarter had been physically harmed and a quarter physically first time i have sex — although there was overlap between the groups. About half reported being verbally pressured, such as being told the relationship would end unless they had sex, and a fifth said they had been given alcohol or drugs.
Even when no physical coercion was used, the average age of women forced into sex was 15 and the average age of men was 27, says Hawks.
There was less of an age difference for those who first had sex voluntarily: Those forced were first time i have sex poorer and had less formal education on average. A previous version of the survey in found a slightly higher prevalence of forced first-time sex at 9 per cent.
This research involved a younger age group of 15 to 24 year olds and the question was worded slightly differently. The findings show the importance of sex education including covering the subject of consent, says Boynton.
In some parts of the US, sex education focuses on promoting abstinence, which she says can be counterproductive in helping reduce first time i have sex.
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