Sexual Abuse as a Child Could Lead to Risky Sex as a Young Teen

Does a person need to agree to sex to be liked by another person? This may be the thought process behind teens engaging in sexual activity long before they are physically and emotionally ready to do so.

According to a recent Medical News Today post, this approach to acceptance tends to be the normal thinking among homeless teens who were sexually abused as children. These individuals may be motivated to have sex at an earlier age to win approval from their partners.

This was the finding in a study conducted by Ryerson University researchers. Professor Trevor Hart, director of Ryerson’s HIV Prevention Lab, noted that homeless teens who were sexually abused as children are more likely to start having sex at an earlier age.

Hart also said that nearly two-thirds of the homeless youth participating in the study reported that they had unprotected vaginal sex. In doing so, these teens are potentially exposing themselves to HIV/AIDS and a full range of other STDs.

In this study, researchers determined that nearly 42 percent of the teens participating reported that they were sexually abused as children. Females were abused more often as 62 percent of females reported abuse, versus only 26.9 percent of males.

The youth who reported this sexual abuse also cited that they used coping and partner approval as motives for engaging in risky sexual activities. The researchers also determined that using sex to get approval was linked to the age of the teen’s first sexual encounter.