Study Links Porn to Teen Group Sex
Special Report - December 21, 2011
Recent exposure to pornography is strongly associated with group sex among young girls, according to a new study led by a researcher at the Boston University School of Public Health. The study, “Multi-Person Sex Among a Sample of Adolescent Female Urban Health Clinic Patients,” was published in the most recent issue of the Journal of Urban Public Health: Bulletin of the New York Academy of Medicine. Led by Boston University School of Public Health associate professor Emily Rothman, the study surveyed 328 girls who had received services from a Boston-area community or school health clinic. It found that about one in 13 girls of the 328 studied (or about seven percent) between the ages of 14 and 20 reported having engaged in either consensual or forced group sexual encounters (ranging from gang rape to group sex parties). According to the study, the average age of the girls reporting group sex was 15.6 (54 percent were under age 16), and for most girls in the study, it was a one-time experience, although 21 percent reported engaging in multiple group sex encounters.
Of the seven percent of girls who reported engaging in group sex, the study found that over half reported being pressured or coerced into doing so. Additionally, the girls who reported group sexual experience were more likely to smoke, have been victims of dating violence, and to have been diagnosed with a sexually transmitted disease. About 28 percent of the girls also reported being victims of childhood sexual abuse. One-third reported using drugs and alcohol before their most recent group sex experience; however, the study notes that about half of these girls said their use of alcohol or drugs was “not voluntary.” Because of the high percentage of girls who reported nonconsensual group sex, the authors called for more research aimed at understanding “more about the perpetrators, and how to prevent this particular form of sexual violence.”
A major finding in the study is what the authors describe as a “strong association between exposure to pornography, having been forced to do things their sex partner saw in pornography, and [multiple person sex].” Specifically, girls in the study who reported having viewed pornography in the last month were five times as likely to report group sexual experience as those who had not seen pornography. Overall, 71.4 percent of those who reported group sexual experience had viewed pornography in the past month. The authors wrote that, “it is crucial to know how this early experience shapes their sexual behavior trajectory and affects their lifetime risk for negative sexual, reproductive, and other health risk behaviors.”
“Group sex among youth is an important public health topic that has received very little attention to date,” the study’s lead author, Professor Rothman said in a Boston University School of Public Health press release. “It's time for parents, pediatricians, federal agencies, and community-based organizations to sit up, pay attention, and take notice: group sex is happening, and we need to be prepared to address it.”
Groups Urge To Enforce Obscenity Laws - February 23, 2011
Social Costs Of Pornography Examined - November 18, 2010
Statement On Pornography Released - March 17, 2010
Anti-Pornography Web Site Launches - February 18, 2010
The Effects of Pornography - FNC - Winter 2010
Speaking Out Against Pornography - October 29, 2008
How Pornography Destroys the Family - Findings - July 2004
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