Approximately one-in-eight sexually active high school girls have experienced reproductive coercion, a form of relationship abuse that increases the risk for unintended pregnancy and can include contraception sabotage, condom manipulation and pressure for the partner to become pregnant when they don’t want to be, according to a recent study published in the journal “Obstetrics & Gynecology,” NBC News reported.
“Reproductive coercion is any behavior that is used to control a partner’s reproductive anatomy,” lead author Amber Hill, M.S.P.H., an M.D. and Ph.D. student at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, told NBC News. “Some common examples include throwing away a person’s birth control pills or poking holes in a condom before sex or removing a condom during sex without a partner’s permission or knowledge.”
In addition to unwanted pregnancies, such abuse can leave young women with sexually transmitted infections and long-term psychological damage. Reproductive coercion can also be accompanied by physical and sexual violence.
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The research also suggested that Latina and black adolescent girls may be more vulnerable to reproductive coercion and sexual violence. Nearly 15% of Latina adolescents and 15% of black adolescents reported sexual coercion in the previous three months, compared to about four percent of white adolescents.