Unwanted sexual contact, reported by 30% to 42% of young women and 10% to 34% of young men, has been associated with negative health outcomes and increased teenaged pregnancy.
To determine health services and contraceptive use among adolescents reporting unwanted sexual intercourse.
Random-digit dial methods were used to survey 1040 adolescents in Monroe County, New York; 389 (37%) were sexually active and answered a question about whether they had ever been forced or pressured to have sexual intercourse. The data were weighted to reflect the county population.
Among sexually active adolescents, 20% of females and 7% of males reported unwanted intercourse (P<.001). For 37% of male and 17% of female adolescents, the survey was the first time they had disclosed the incident (P = .17). Among female adolescents reporting unwanted intercourse, 91% have a usual source of care and 62% reported a well visit in the previous 6 months. Female adolescents reporting unwanted sex were more likely to have wanted contraceptives but not gotten them because of fear their parents would find out (32% vs 11%; P = .01) and to have had sex without contraception (69% vs 52%; P = .05) than those who had not had unwanted sex.
Many adolescents have been forced or pressured to have sexual intercourse. Although many have never told anyone about the incident, most have visited a primary care physician or clinician. Physicians and other clinicians should screen for a history of unwanted intercourse and provide needed referrals for counseling and/or contraceptive information.