According to the National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy, about 60 percent of teen girls’ first pregnancies are preceded by experiences of molestation, rape or attempted rape. The study showed girls who suffered frequent physical or emotional abuse as children were almost three times more likely to have had sex before the age of 15. About 74 percent of girls who had sex before age 14 reported being coerced into sex.
Blanton said past experiences of abuse, even witnessing abuse between adults, can lead both girls and boys to seek inappropriate sexual contact out of low self-esteem.
“It’s that lack of self-worth and thinking you’re not good enough to have a relationship without sex ... instead of finding a healthy relationship, they will enter into a relationship with violence or they will seek out physical intimacy because they think that’s what will fulfill their need to be loved,” Blanton said.
The correlation is particularly strong among teens who have been subjected to sexual abuse.
“What you would call a sense of ‘normal’ sexual behavior is absent in their lives, and they will seek out inappropriate relationships to boost their self-esteem,” Blanton said.
If we throw contraception at the problem, are we solving the problem, or just enabling it?
And will these girls actually use it?