Young women pressurised for sex even when not feeling like it

December 8th, 2008 - 1:40 pm ICT by IANS  

Sydney, Dec 8 (IANS) Young women were pressurised into having sex with partners even when they didn’t feel like it, according to a study.”Thirty-seven percent of young women who took part in the study had experienced pressure from partners to have sex when they didn’t want to,” said Moira Carmody, assistant professor at the University of Western Sydney.

“This involved manipulation such as ‘if you love me you will have sex’, through to ignoring non-verbal and verbal indications of uncertainty or refusal, and even using physical force,” said Carmody.

She conducted the four-year-study, based on interviews with men and women aged between 16 and 25 years, said a Western Sydney release.

There is a common misconception among young people and others that most sexual assault is committed by strangers, she informed.

“This is why it is so important for young people to understand that sexual assault can occur within dating relationships and learn the skills to prevent these unwanted sexual experiences,” she said.

Sex and Ethics, the book-pack based on the study, contains a comprehensive six-week education programme that aims to provide young people with a framework of sexual ethics.

Carmody said the aim of the programme is to encourage ethical, respectful, non-abusive and mutually enjoyable sex between young people in casual or ongoing relationships.

The findings revealed that young people want to learn skills to communicate with their partners effectively and have ethical sex, but feel there is little opportunity to explore these issues at school or with their families.

The programme was rigorously evaluated and was found to have a lasting impact on the behaviour of both young men and women, with 82 percent still using ideas learnt in the group six months later and 74 percent putting the skills into practice.

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