1 in 5 Sexually Active Girls Suffers Violence
Dating Violence Increases Other Sexual Health Risks
Aug. 2, 2004 -- Sexually active girls are nearly five times
more likely to be a victim of teen dating violence than non-sexually active
girls, according to a new study.
Researchers found nearly one in five sexually active adolescent
girls was intentionally hurt by a date in the previous year compared with less
than one in 25 girls without any sexual experience.
Overall, the study showed teenage girls report high rates of
dating violence, with an average of one in 10 high school girls reporting being
physically harmed by a date in the last year.
The study also suggests that girls who are sexually active and
who are a victim of dating violence are more likely to be experience other
sexual health risks, such as sexually transmitted infections and pregnancy.
Researchers say the results show that teen dating violence
prevention efforts should be expanded and integrated into sexual health and
pregnancy prevention programs.
Teen Dating Violence Linked to Other Risks
The study, published in the August issue of the journal
Pediatrics, was based on the responses of 6,864 female high school
students who participated in the 2001 National Youth Risk Behavior Survey.
About half of the teenage girls surveyed were sexually active,
and researchers compared rates of reported dating violence among sexually
experienced and inexperienced girls.
They found nearly 18% of sexually active girls reported being
physically hurt by a date in the previous year compared with less than 4% of
The study also showed that dating violence among sexually
active girls increased other sexual health risks.
"Adolescent girls who experience dating violence are at
significantly increased risk for multiple high-risk behaviors related to sex,
including having greater numbers of sexual partners, not consistently using
condoms, and using substances before sexual intercourse," write researcher
Jay Silverman, PhD, of the Harvard School of Public Health, and colleagues.
In addition, researchers found that sexually active girls who
reported being hurt by a date in the previous year were almost twice as likely
than other girls to report having been pregnant.