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Many Adolescent Girls Report Having Unwanted Sex

Unwanted sexual encounters may increase risk of sexually transmitted disease and pregnancy

MONDAY, June 5 (HealthDay News) -- About 40 percent of adolescent girls report being pressured or threatened into having sex, according to a study in the June issue of the Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine.

Margaret J. Blythe, M.D., and colleagues from Indiana University Medical Center in Indianapolis, conducted face-to-face interviews every three months with 279 adolescent girls aged 14 to 17 years old and tested for sexually transmitted diseases. At least two interviews were conducted, with a maximum of 10 interviews, and 88.5 percent of participants were black.

The researchers found that 40.9 percent of girls reported having unwanted sex at least once, with 37.6 percent of these citing the fear that the partner would become angry if denied sex as the most prevalent reason. About 10 percent of participants reported being forced to have sex. Significant factors associated with unwanted sex were having a baby with a specific partner (odds ratio, 4.4), lesser relationship quality (OR, 0.92), lack of sexual control (OR, 1.8), low frequency of condom use (OR, 2.3), and use of marijuana before sex (OR, 1.8).

"Unwanted sex occurs often within the sexual relationships of teens," Blythe and colleagues conclude. "These unwanted sexual experiences result in risk for sexually transmitted infections and pregnancies. Sexual health counseling to reduce risk should focus on both the patient's and the partner's behaviors."

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