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Group sex among adolescents a public health concern, new study says
Date:12/16/2011

One in 13 teenage girls, aged 14 to 20, reported having a group-sex experience, with those young women more likely to have been exposed to pornography and childhood sexual abuse than their peers, according to a new study led by a Boston University School of Public Health (BUSPH) researcher.

In a study published in the Journal of Urban Health: Bulletin of the New York Academy of Medicine, Emily Rothman, associate professor of community health sciences at BUSPH, and colleagues surveyed 328 females who had utilized a Boston-area community or school-based health clinic, to explore whether they had ever had sex with multiple partners -- either consensual or forced. The authors call this sexual experience "multi-person sex," or MPS, in order to underscore that it refers to any group sex experience on a continuum from gang rape to sex parties.

Of the 7.3 percent who said they had group sex, more than half reported being pressured to engage in the group-sex situation. Forty-five percent reported a lack of condom use by a male participant during the most recent group-sex encounter. Participants with MPS experience also were more likely to report cigarette smoking, dating violence victimization, or ever being diagnosed with a sexually transmitted disease, the study found.

In addition, those who had seen pornography in the past month were approximately five times as likely as those who had not seen pornography to report ever having had a group-sex experience.

The average age of the first group-sex experience was 15.6 years old. The majority of those who reported such activity said it was a one-time experience; 21 percent had multiple group-sex experiences. One-third reported using alcohol or drugs prior to their most recent experience, but half of those girls reported that their alcohol or drug use was not voluntary, indicating that they were "liquored up" or drugged by their sexual partner.

Multi-person sex "appeared to pose a poten
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Contact: Emily Rothman
erothman@bu.edu
617-763-5557
Boston University Medical Center
Source:Eurekalert

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