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Sexual Coercion & Assault

Although teenagers aren’t ready for physically intimate relationships they often feel pressure from their peers, social media, and TV shows or movies that portray storylines of sexually active teens or sexually coercive behavior.


Coercion is a tactic many use to gain something they want from another person. When an individual experiences sexual coercion, they are being pressured to do something sexually or physically that they are not comfortable doing. The person on the receiving end may give in to the coercion for any number of reasons, afterward feeling guilt and shame.

  • Teens who have been in a dating relationship said they’ve been pressured to have sex or to engage in sexual activity when they didn’t want to do so.

  • They’ve gone further sexually in a relationship than they wanted.

  • Know a friend or peer who has felt pressured into having either intercourse or oral sex.

  • Approximately 10 percent of females and 3 percent of males have experienced forced sex.

 Tactics used lower their partner’s resistance or force someone to have sex with them include:


  • One partner gets angry or makes the other person feel guilty. For example, they’ll say, “What do you mean you won’t have sex with me? You kissed me and led me on. You’re a tease!” or “If you loved/cared about me, you would.”

  • Argue or pressure the person. For example, they’ll say, “We’re exclusive, and having sex is part of a dating relationship.” Or they might agree to setting sexual boundaries but later push their partner to go further.

  • Use alcohol to lower their partner’s resistance. Some may encourage their partner to drink, while others may add alcohol to a drink without the other person knowing or add more alcohol than the victim is aware of.

  • Physical force, such as holding the other person down.

  • Intimidation - the abuser may threaten to tell others that the couple has been sexually active, spread rumors about the activity they’ve engaged in—when they haven’t actually had sex—or physically threaten to harm the other person if they don’t agree to have sex.


Risks of sexual activity

  • Feeling used or bad about themselves post-sex

  • Unhappy or signs of depression

  • HIV infection or other sexually transmitted diseases (STDs)

  • Teen pregnancy


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