-- Robert Preidt
FRIDAY, March 28, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Nearly half of young
males reported being pressured or forced into unwanted sexual
activity, according to a new U.S. study.
The survey of nearly 300 college and high school students found
those who were sexually coerced while drunk or drugged showed
The findings were published online March 17 in the journal
Psychology of Men and Masculinity.
"Sexual victimization continues to be a pervasive problem in the United States, but the victimization of men is rarely explored," lead author Bryana French, of the University of Missouri, said in a journal news release.
"Our findings can help lead to better prevention by identifying the various types of coercion that men face and by acknowledging women as perpetrators against men," French added.
Researchers surveyed 284 young males, aged 14 to 26. They found
that 43 percent reported having an unwanted sexual experience. In
95 percent of those cases, a female acquaintance was the
Among those who had unwanted sexual activity, 18 percent said
they were physically forced, 31 percent said they were verbally
coerced and 26 percent said it was the result of "unwanted
seduction by sexual behaviors." Seven percent said drugs or alcohol
Half of them had sex, 10 percent said there was attempted sex,
and 40 percent said the unwanted sexual activity was limited to
kissing or fondling. Being coerced into intercourse was associated
with risky sex and more drinking by the victims, the study authors
Sexual coercion was reported more often by Hispanic males than
whites or blacks. Forty percent of Hispanic students reported
sexual coercion, compared with 22 percent of blacks, 19 percent of
whites and 8 percent of Asian Americans.
The researchers also found that having unwanted sex did not seem
to affect young males' self-esteem.
"It may be the case that sexual coercion by women doesn't affect males' self-perceptions in the same way that it does when women are coerced," French said in the news release. "Instead it may inadvertently be consistent with expectations of masculinity and sexual desire, though more research is needed to better understand this relationship."
Examples of coercion included partners threatening to break off
relationships, encouraging alcohol consumption, threatening to use
or using a weapon, and sexual touching in an attempt to overcome a
lack of interest in sex.
The American Academy of Pediatrics outlines ways for teens to
resist sexual pressure.
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