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Teen girls report abusive boyfriends try to get them pregnant
Date:9/20/2007

a known history of intimate partner violence living in the poorest neighborhoods in Boston. The analysis included 53 girls between the ages of 15 and 20 who reported being sexually active and involved in relationships that included recurring patterns of physical, sexual or emotional abuse from a male partner. Twenty-six percent of these girls reported that their partners were actively trying to get them pregnant by manipulating condom use, sabotaging birth control use and making explicit statements about wanting them to become pregnant.

We were floored by what these girls told us, Miller recalled. You think of forced sex as an aspect of abusive relationships, but this takes that abuse a step further to reproductive control of a young womans body.

Despite the small sample size, Miller describes the current study as a critically important first step toward understanding the nuances of control in intimate relationships and its role in teen pregnancy.

Our study suggests that those providing care, especially reproductive care, to adolescent girls need to ask questions that reveal the complexities of partner violence, specifically whether a partner is actively trying to get her pregnant when she doesnt want to be, Miller said. Historically, assessments in clinical settings have focused on physical and sexual violence and for good reasons. However, our data argues for including questions, for instance, about whether a boyfriend is flushing birth control pills down the toilet or saying he used a condom when he didnt. And pregnancy prevention programs should include discussions about reproductive control as a form of abuse in relationships.

This study demonstrates for the first time that abusive boys and men often actively promote pregnancy including contraceptive nonuse in their relationships, said Jay Silverman, director of Violence Preventions Programs for the Harvard School of Public Health and senior author on the study. The implica
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Contact: Elizabeth Miller
elizabeth.miller@ucdmc.ucdavis.edu
916-734-9064
University of California - Davis - Health System
Source:Eurekalert

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