A report published today in JAMA Pediatrics reveals that nearly one in 10 teenagers and young adults has coerced or forced a peer to engage in some form of sexual activity. As summarized in WebMD,
“The study of more than 1,000 young people aged 14 to 21 found that 9 percent reported forcing or pressuring a peer to engage in sexual activity. They admitted to coercive sex, sexual assault and rape, most often involving a romantic partner.
“Perpetrators were five times more likely to have been exposed to X-rated media that showed a person being physically hurt during sex, the study found.
“From a public health perspective, the violent pornography is something we need to be concerned about in terms of our young people,” said study co-author Michele Ybarra, president and research director of the Center for Innovative Public Health Research in San Clemente, Calif.
“Further, nearly nine out of 10 perpetrators said they felt the victim bore full or partial responsibility. The study involved a national sample of nearly 1,100 young people and focused specifically on perpetration of coercive and forced sexual behavior.”We know a bit about youth who are victims of sexual violence, but we don’t know much at all about youth as perpetrators,” Ybarra said. “It’s important we know more if we’re going to reduce the sexual-violence rate.”