Past Sexual Abuse May Put Boys at Risk for Unsafe Sex

April 16, 2012

Teenage boys who have been sexually abused in the past are more likely to have unsafe sex, according to a recent study conducted in Canada.

Researchers from the University of British Columbia analyzed data from more than 40,000 American and Canadian male high school students between 1986 and 2011 and found that boys with a history of sexual abuse were five times more likely to get a girl pregnant, three times more likely to have multiple sexual partners, and two times more likely to not use condoms than boys who did not have a history of abuse.

In a press release, lead author Yuko Homma, Ph.D., said, "As far as we know, this is the first study to explore the strength of the effects of sexual abuse on boys' sexual behavior. Our findings show that boys are also vulnerable to the traumatic effects of sexual abuse, which can lead to sexually transmitted infections or teen pregnancy."

Science Daily wrote:

The researchers analyzed 10 sets of Canadian and U.S. survey data from two decades of published studies. Conducted between 1986 and 2011, the surveys were completed anonymously by more than 40,000 male high school students in B.C. and across the U.S., including states such as Oregon, Vermont, Minnesota and Massachusetts. ...

On average, about eight per cent of males and 20 per cent of females in North America report a history of sexual abuse.

"Boys are far less likely to tell someone when they have been sexually abused," says co-author Elizabeth Saewyc, UBC professor of nursing and adolescent medicine. "Yet it's clear they too need support and care to cope with the trauma from sexual violence."

A past history of sexual abuse is also linked to negative outcomes for people living with HIV/AIDS.

In March, reported that a Duke University study found the following:

  • Half of the patients had experienced three or more lifetime traumatic experiences that range from being sexually abused, physically abused and witnessing domestic violence to suicide attempts and losing a child.
  • More lifetime traumatic experiences led to a higher likelihood of engaging in unprotected sex, not adhering to meds, having more visits to the ER and being admitted to the hospital.
  • Patients with a history of trauma were more likely to see their health decline or to die during the study period.

Kellee Terrell is the former news editor for and

Follow Kellee on Twitter: @kelleent.

Copyright © 2012 Remedy Health Media, LLC. All rights reserved.

This article was provided by TheBody.

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