Four In Ten Schoolgirls Are Forced To Perform Sex Acts, According To Huge New Study. Ugh.
The Debrief: Bleak research shows that better sex education is needed in schools throughout Europe. And fast.
New, really grim, research has revealed that four in ten schoolgirls have been coerced into doing something sexual against their will - often being forced or pressured by their boyfriends. The NSPCC-led survey (with help from researchers from the universities of Bristol and Central Lancashire) found that many have suffered sex attacks, emotional abuse and intimidation.
It's the largest study of its kind ever carried out in Europe, included Norway, Italy, Bulgaria and Cyprus, and finding that a high proportion of teenage boys regularly view pornography - with one in five holding negative attitudes towards women. Incredibly, 22% of schoolgirls reported suffering physical violence or intimidation from their boyfriends, including slapping, punching and strangling.
'The levels of victimisation revealed by this research shows action is urgently needed by the Government to make updated sex and relationship education a statutory right for every child and young person,' said Claire Lilley, the head of child safety online at the NSPCC. 'There needs to be a greater focus in schools on topics such as sexual exploitation and violence against girls and young women, as part of a balanced curriculum.'.
While some girls said they were pressured into consenting to sex, others outright referred to it as rape - outlining the importance of better education in the language of consent, and what is and isn't OK. A recent NUS survey found that two thirds of Sex and Relationships Education doesn't even touch upon consent as part of the curriculum, and that a lot of teenagers are turning to porn for their education - which, as stated above, doesn't tend to help in terms of positive attitudes towards women. 'The high rates of sexual coercion discovered need to be addressed through education and awareness-raising that challenges attitudes and helps change behaviour,' added Claire. 'We need to nurture children to have positive relationships based on mutual respect.'
Hopefully this research will encourage the government (or whichever government we have after the general election) to radically overhaul the way in which we're teaching our young people about sex. Because, clearly, something's going very wrong.
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Picture: Li Hui
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