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Study Finds 1 in 5 Teens Are Physically, Sexually Abused While Dating

Study Finds 1 in 5 Teen Girls Are Physically, Sexually Abused While Dating

According to a recent study published in JAMA Pediactrics, many American teens, both boys and girls, experience physical and sexual abuse while dating.

Among teens who said they dated, "one in five girls and one in 10 boys said they'd been abused at least once during the past year," according to an article on HealthDay.com. "Most teens who reported physical or sexual abuse experienced more than one incident of abuse, according to the study. Victims -- some of whom could also be perpetrators -- were at higher risk of problems such as suicidal behavior, bullying, risky sexual behavior and substance use, the researchers found."

"These numbers are very high and also very troubling," said Monica Swahn, an associate director of research with the Emory Center for Injury Control at Georgia State University, according to the article. "These are serious forms of victimization with lasting scars, both physically and emotionally."

According to the article, "the findings are from the U.S. government's annual Youth Risk Behavior Survey, which has asked a question about physical teen dating violence since 1999. The government revised the survey for 2013 and added a question about sexual teen dating violence."

One question asked about purposeful physical violence in a dating relationship, such as 'being hit, slammed into something or injured with an object or weapon,' The new question asked if teens were forced to 'do sexual things that you did not want to do.' About 13,000 students in grades 9 through 12 responded to the survey. About three-quarters of boys and girls said they dated. Of those, 21 percent of females reported dating violence within the previous year, while 10 percent of males did.

"While female students have a higher prevalence than male students, male and female students are both impacted by teen dating violence," said the study's lead author, Kevin Vagi, a behavioral scientist at the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, in the article. "Prevention efforts may be more effective if they include content for both sexes."

Read the full story and comment below.

Article by Kassondra Granata, Education World Contributor

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