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Study Finds Group Sex Among Teens Is Often Coerced

This article is more than 7 years old.
Of the 7 percent of teens who say they've had group sex, more than half reported feeling pressured to engage. (Courtesy: Brit/Flickr)
Of the 7 percent of teens who say they've had group sex, more than half reported feeling pressured to engage. (Courtesy: Brit/Flickr)

Any parent wants to think that their son or daughter is making smart, safe choices when it comes to sex. At the very least, they want to make sure that choice isn't being taken away from their child, yet new research about group sex among teenagers is raising alarm among parents in Massachusetts.

The research we're talking about is a survey of girls and young women, ages 14 to 20, about 7 percent of whom reported having engaged in group sex, often without protection, and often against their will.

The study, led by Emily Rothman, an associate professor of public health at Boston University, further found the average age for the first group sex encounter to be just 15-and-a-half years old.

Rothman and her coauthors say group sex is much more prevalent among young people than is commonly believed, and that has implications for parents, educators, and health care providers. We'll talk to Rothman and ask her what's behind the findings.

Guests:

  • Emily Rothman, associate professor of public health, Boston University.
  • Joanne Patterson, director of prevention and education programs, REACH.

This program aired on December 20, 2011. The audio for this program is not available.

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