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Forced or coerced sexual contact can come in may forms, from the unwelcome affection of a kiss all the way to rape.
And new research has found 9 percent of 14- to 21-year-old youths have forced sexual contact on someone in some form or another. Half of those in the study who admitted to such behavior blamed their victims in some capacity.
The methods of coercion can range from physical force, making threats or even playing the guilt card.
Four percent were found to have used coercive tactics to force someone into having sex. The most common method was guilt, involved in 63 percent of the admissions. Nearly one-third used arguments or other verbal pressure to force the issue.
“Half of those in the study who admitted
to such behavior blamed their victims.”
More than 1,000 young men and women were surveyed for the study, which appears in the American Medical Association journal JAMA Pediatrics.
The surveys were conducted online and financed by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Parental permission was gained in advance of the research.
For the study, students were asked clear questions that avoided terminology like “rape” to better encourage truthfulness.
One question included, “In the last 12 months, how often have you kissed, touched or done anything sexual with another person when that person did not want you to?”
Study co-author Michele Ybarra, of the Center for Innovative Public Health Research in California, said some teens don’t seem to internalize the important principle that no means no.
“What we wanted to find was the intent to get somebody to do something sexually when they knew the person did not want to do it,” she said. “We know that adolescence is an important time when these types of behavior emerge.”