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  • Widespread abuse in teenage relationships


    by Rumbold
    1st September, 2009 at 10:34 am    

    This study is pretty shocking:

    “Nearly 90% of 1,400 girls aged 13 to 17 had been in intimate relationships, the NSPCC and University of Bristol found. Of these, one in six said they had been pressured into sexual intercourse and one in 16 said they had been raped…

    One in three of the teenage girls questioned said their boyfriends had tried to pressure them into unwanted sexual activity by using physical force or by bullying them.”

    We are all aware of the stereotype of the insecure teenage girl willing to do anything to please her boyfriend (or a boy that she wants to impress), particularly when she is dating an older boy (three quarters of teenage girls in this situation said they had suffered abuse). The question is, what can be done about it? Two things I suppose. Find a way to improve the self esteem of teenage girls, and educate more boys that girls are their equals and shouldn’t be forced to do things they don’t want to. Easier said than done I suppose. I do think that parents have an important part to play in this, as it is at home that children get their formative ideas about gender relations.


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    18 Comments below   |  

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    1. Anaya Chen

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      RT @pickledpolitics Pickled Politics » Widespread abuse in teenage relationships http://bit.ly/3jAn1e




    1. Joe — on 1st September, 2009 at 11:09 am  

      Shows how out of synch with reality the article from the Daily Mail decrying the state intervening and teaching children about domestic abuse at school was - it’s a real issue that needs addressing.

      With regards to parents and the learning of gender roles at home, I would agree but think that once again the state currently is not doing enough to support egalitarian gender relations at home. Can be seen in a couple ways - families are penalised through higher taxes if both parents work and absurdly unbalanced maternity/paternity schemes. The message the government is currently giving is that mothers should be looking after children and fathers should be breadwinners.

    2. Leah — on 1st September, 2009 at 11:25 am  

      This charity (Tender) work with young people to promote healthy relationships - you can see more here http://www.tender.org.uk/

      They were featured on a BBC3 documentary called Dangerous Love a while ago.

      AND, on September 19th, a woman is walking on her hands across the Millennium Bridge to raise money for the project - http://www.justgiving.com/Nikki-Rummer/

    3. HarpyMarx — on 1st September, 2009 at 11:28 am  

      This is my own take on the grim research http://harpymarx.wordpress.com/2009/09/01/1-in-3-teenage-girls-tell-of-sexual-abuse-by-their-boyfriends/

    4. platinum786 — on 1st September, 2009 at 11:32 am  

      In my opinion it highlights the importance of getting young people to stay away from sexually active relationships until they are older and perhaps more mentally mature. When I was in school you had people who’s aim it was to lose their virginity by 16, girls who’d lost theirs well before then, it makes you think what were the emotions around that sexual relationship?

      Obviously it’s an unpopular arguement.

    5. RobertD — on 1st September, 2009 at 11:41 am  

      One simple step is for the police to prosecute aggressively any relationship with an underage girl by a significantly older man. A series of high profile prison sentences might get the message across that to young men that this is unacceptable behaviour with serious consequences.

    6. Chie — on 1st September, 2009 at 11:57 am  

      I think another factor to be considered should be peer pressure. On both sexes. Girls not wanting to be labelled “virgins” (=behind their peers) by their friends and boys wanting to score “virility points” by sleeping with as many girls as possible. Could it be that sex is becoming a status symbol for those teens, just like owning an expensive car can be for adults, rather than a natural act of love (or lust)?

      I certainly felt the peer pressure when I was in my late teens but in those days it was still semi-cool to delay your first experience. The current generation will probably think very differently…

    7. Philip Hunt — on 1st September, 2009 at 1:10 pm  

      If 1/6 have been pressured into sex, then it cannot also be true that 1/3 have been pressured into sex “by using physical force or by bullying”, because 1/3 > 1/6.

      The reporting of the survey is therefore nonsense.

    8. Shatterface — on 1st September, 2009 at 1:22 pm  

      ‘One simple step is for the police to prosecute aggressively any relationship with an underage girl by a significantly older man.’

      Unfortunately it isn’t generally ‘significantly older’ men who are the problem. It’s mainly boys a year or so older than their partners, and that’s largely due to the fact most girls tend to be more mature than boys of their own age.

      There isn’t a way to prosecute the problem away, Rumbold’s right that it’s about education of both boys and girls.

    9. douglas clark — on 1st September, 2009 at 1:32 pm  

      RobertD,

      Is that what is being discussed here?

      I think the general idea is that immature young men are the guilty party, this is not about adult sexual predators, is it?

      ———————————

      Philip Hunt,

      I am not exactly reading the same thing as you. What it appears to say is that 1/3 had been the subject of pressure, not that they had surrendered to it.

      One in three of the teenage girls questioned said their boyfriends had tried to pressure them into unwanted sexual activity by using physical force or by bullying them

      Which, I take it to mean, half of them didn’t.

    10. douglas clark — on 1st September, 2009 at 1:36 pm  

      RobertD,

      Is that what is being discussed here?

      I think the general idea is that immature young men are the guilty party, this is not about adult sexual predators, is it?

      ———————————

      Philip Hunt,

      I am not exactly reading the same thing as you. What it appears to say is that 1/3 had been the subject of pressure, not that they had surrendered to it.

      One in three of the teenage girls questioned said their boyfriends had tried to pressure them into unwanted sexual activity by using physical force or by bullying them

      Which, I take it to mean, half of them didn’t. Going by this:

      Of these, one in six said they had been pressured into sexual intercourse.

    11. Edwina Egg — on 1st September, 2009 at 2:35 pm  

      That Humbert Humbert has a lot to answer for!

      Not to mention that Prophet Whatsisname and that poor girl of nine!

    12. Andy Gilmour — on 1st September, 2009 at 2:51 pm  

      Chie at #6:
      “Could it be that sex is becoming a status symbol for those teens”

      Becoming?

      It was certainly the case 25 years ago at my old school. And oddly the “studs” / “slappers” disparity that seemed to be the norm back then doesn’t appear to have changed, either.

      Anyone got the time to see if the research carried any demographic breakdown of the stats? Just curious..

      Oh, and platinum786, yes, what a fantastic idea, because ‘abstinence’ campaigns work so well in the USA, don’t they?

    13. Shatterface — on 1st September, 2009 at 4:12 pm  

      ‘Anyone got the time to see if the research carried any demographic breakdown of the stats? Just curious..’

      I’ve just googled ‘teenage sex’ and I’ll let you know my findings, um, later…

    14. sonia — on 2nd September, 2009 at 2:07 am  

      platinum:

      Obviously it’s an unpopular arguement.

      only because its an unrealistic and profoundly unviable argument. Duh.

      like not giving condoms to africans and just suggesting they don’t have sex if they don’t want to contract HIV.

    15. Rumbold — on 2nd September, 2009 at 2:02 pm  

      Thanks Sonia.

      Platinum786:

      I think that you mean well, but as others have said, it is an unrealistic argument. What we need to focus on attitudes towards gender equality, amongst both boys and girls.

    16. persephone — on 2nd September, 2009 at 3:07 pm  

      “In my opinion it highlights the importance of getting young people to stay away from sexually active relationships until they are older.“

      The various reports & statistics that are periodically published do not show that gender equality issues fade with age. The solution is to build confidence & self esteem at an early age to avoid unequal gender roles being solidified into maturity.

      If this strength of mind is not being developed at home it does leave it to others they are in contact with (eg schools) to develop it.

      I am no great fan of such responsibility being foisted onto the education sector but outside of schools there is probably no other way that they can be reached, unless it is through public sector groups which are focused on helping vulnerable families and individuals.

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