Forced sex acts and coercion in teen relationships are more common than you think, according to a new study from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
The findings, reported online by the Journal of the American Medical Association, revealed that close to one in 10 teens had admitted to having coerced another person into some form of sexual activity.
The online survey was conducted in 2010 and 2011, during which researchers asked 1,058 young people (ages 14 to 21) if they had ever “kissed, touched, or done anything sexual with another person when that person did not want you to?”
Michele Ybarra, lead researcher, told NPR she was surprised by the results. “I don’t get creeped out very often, but this was wow.”
To be exact, nine percent of teens said they had coerced another person, with eight percent saying they had kissed or touched someone while knowing that person did not want to engage in such activity.
Three percent said they “got someone to give in to unwilling sex,” three percent said they had attempted to rape another teen, and two percent said they actually followed through with it.
(The teens were allowed to admit more than one behavior, hence why it adds up to nine percent.)
Coercion and manipulation were more common than forced sex acts, researchers said.
According to a Slate.com, teenagers have faced an elevated chance of sexual abuse for “quite some time.”
Slate contributor Amanda Hess pointed to one 1998 study that found “12 percent of high school girls and five percent of boys have been sexually abused” and a 1997 study finding “that girls ages 16 to 19 are ‘four times more likely than the general population to be victims of rape, attempted rape, or sexual assault.’
The CDC report adds to this previous research by shedding light on the demographics, tactics, and attitudes of young sex offenders, pointing out that “The prototypical teen sexual abuser is a white male from a higher-income family,” Hess stated.
Hearing news like this new study or the seemingly growing amount of violent teen offenders or the video above, there’s a temptation to give up on the younger generation.
(But don’t forget: there are still plenty of good ones out there, too.)
With the new study’s findings on forced sex acts and coercion, do you think teen offenders and their parents should face criminal charges?
[Image via ShutterStock]