Large numbers of teenage girls experience sexual coercion in relationships

Large numbers of teenage girls experience sexual coercion in relationships

More than four in ten teenage schoolgirls in England have experienced sexual coercion, new research by University of Bristol academics launched today [11 February] reveals. Most were pressured to have sex or other sexual activity, and in some cases, this included rape. And many of the 13-17-year-olds had also suffered physical attacks, intimidation or emotional abuse from their boyfriends.

The study also found that a high proportion of regularly viewed pornography and one in five harboured extremely negative attitudes towards women.

The research in England was undertaken between 2013-2015 by a team of researchers from the Universities of Bristol and Central Lancashire. The study, was also carried out in Norway, Italy, Bulgaria and Cyprus as well as England. It is one of the biggest of its kind ever undertaken in Europe, involving a school-based survey of 4,500 children and 100 interviews with

Dr Christine Barter, NSPCC Senior Research Fellow who is based at Bristol's School for Policy Studies and lead author, said: "Our research findings show that across Europe violence and abuse, both offline and online, in young people's relationships constitutes a major problem, yet in most countries it remains unrecognised leaving young people with little support or appropriate services."

Nicky Stanley, Professor of Social Work at the University of Central Lancashire and co-author, commented: "Teenage girls reported serious distress and harm following abusive behaviour from boyfriends. Education and campaigns need to challenge stereotypical behaviour and attitudes in boys and the law in this area should be clearly communicated to young people, their parents and teachers."

The NSPCC is now calling on the government to take action to ensure teenagers get a clearer message about healthy relationships.

Claire Lilley, head of child safety online at the charity, said: "The levels of victimisation revealed by this research shows action is urgently needed by the government to make updated sex and relationship education a statutory right for every child and young person. There needs to be a greater focus in schools on topics such as sexual exploitation and violence against girls and young women, as part of a balanced curriculum.

"The high rates of sexual coercion discovered need to be addressed through education and awareness raising that challenges attitudes and helps change behaviour. We need to nurture children to have positive relationships based on mutual respect."

The highest rates of were reported by in England. Around one in five (22 per cent) also said they had suffered physical violence or intimidation from boyfriends, including, slapping, punching, strangling and being beaten with an object. In interviews with 100 of the children, many said the pressure to have sex was so great it almost became 'normal' and in some cases rape was not recognised.

Katie, a 15-year-old who took part in the survey in England, said: "I've had relationships where I wouldn't be able to go out with my friends because they'd get angry with me. I have been raped and other things like that" while Amy, also 15, said of one of her boyfriends "He breathed down my neck 24/7, it was horrible."

Almost four in ten (39 per cent) boys in England aged 14-17 admitted they regularly watched pornography and around one-fifth (18 per cent) strongly agreed with statements such as: "It is sometimes acceptable for a man to hit a woman if she has been unfaithful." And: "Women lead men on sexually and then complain about the attention they get."

Controlling online behaviour by partners, through constant checking of their social network activity, sending threatening messages or telling them who they could be 'friends' with was closely associated with young people experiencing violence or abuse from their partner offline.

Young people who reported violence and abuse in their relationships were at least twice as likely to have sent a sexual image or text compared to those who had not.

England had the highest rate for children exchanging sexual images and messages with a partner among the countries surveyed. More than four-in-ten (44 per cent) girls and just under a third (32 per cent) of boys in England had sent them to their boyfriend or girlfriend. Just over 40 per cent of girls who sent them said they had been shared by a partner with others.

Just under half of girls and boys in England had received them. Around a quarter (27 per cent) of girls sent messages and images because they felt pressurised by a partner to do so.


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Feb 11, 2015
There are a lot of issues going on here, none of which excuse violence against women.

First issue, sex is a certain degree coercive. The guy has to convince the girl to do the deed, so he's going to pressure and seduce. Everything in nature is like that.

Second issue:
Entertainment dehumanized women. Rap music, slasher movies, hard core porn.

third issue:
Men are not exposed to real sexual situations as much as historically. On Dr. Drew, the FEMALE psychologists said that men NEED to watch pornography, because they don't get it enough and don't see it enough in real life like used to be in past generations. There are civilizations where women walk around topless still and they function pretty well apparently.

fourth issue:
No teaching or upbringing. No discipline for violent behavior or bullying, which ties into sexual relationships. If a guy bullies other guys he probably bullies women too, and that obviously leads to coercion and rape.

Feb 11, 2015
I would never hit a woman unless she literally came at me with a lethal weapon.

i would even be likely to let her hit me a time or two before I blocked it or controller her, but I would never hit an unarmed woman. At most, if she was hell-bent on attacking me, I'd catch her arm and put her in a lock or toss her aside long enough to get away from her.

These people who punch or kick women, or rape them are worthless assholes, the ones who really are doing it.

In cases where women might be over-reacting because the guy accidentally did something wrong, they both need to be taught to communicate and boht need to be taught to set boundaries and recognize boundaries, and that means parental involvement, educator involvement, and friends watching out for one another and correcting one another.

Talk about Sexual health and communication ought to be as common as talking about the weather or the football game, instead of something we hide under a rug.

Feb 11, 2015
the ultra-conservative religious (christians in America) are responsible for hindering communication about sex and denigrating women. On the one hand they treat sex as something sacred, but on the other hand they treat it as something so "disgusting" that we ought not talk about it, but they don't harp on the murder and slasher movies as much as they do a naked woman on television.

Pastors spend 90% of the time talking about money and about 0.1% of the time talking about family and relationships, and if they mention sex it is almost always in a NEGATIVE context: Adultery or rape, etc.

I cherish women, and I want to marry and soon. Hopefully I won't have to talk my wife into having sex. Hopefully I can be so good to her that she'll pounce on me from time to time. Maybe not, but we can always hope.

Why the heck would I want to have sex with someone who doesn't want it anyway? That really is disgusting and vile.

Feb 12, 2015
Women complain about coercion yet flock to dominating, controlling alpha-males. Women find these males useful, as they can claim they are not calculating schemers using their bodies to advance socially and gain popularity, but instead they were forced and cajoled against their will and therefore have pure intentions. Also females use tactics on social reputations as males use physical tactics on flesh. Nothing new here

Feb 15, 2015
"make updated sex and relationship education a statutory right for every child and young person". What about a "statutory right" for every child and young person to have a supportive father that would "beat the brains" out of any one that hurt their daughters (and clip the ear of any son did that hurt to any girl)?

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