Coerced First Intercourse and Sexually Transmitted Infections

Corrine Williams, University of Kentucky

Victims of violence are more likely to be involved in subsequent risky sexual behaviors. Using nationally representative data from the 2002 National Survey of Family Growth, we explored whether coercive first intercourse was associated with self-reported sexually transmitted infections (STIs). We analyzed female respondents ages 18-44 who answered questions on both coercive first intercourse and STIs (n=6,096). We classified coercion as none/minimal, mild, or significant. In 2002, 12.3% of US women reported that they experienced mild coercion at first intercourse and 8.8% experienced significant coercion at first intercourse. Compared with women who experienced no coercion, the unadjusted odds of reporting a STI was greater for women who experienced mild (OR: 1.5, 95% CI: 1.12-2.0) or significant coercion (OR: 1.9, 95% CI: 1.4-2.7). While preventing coercive sexual experiences is an important goal, attention to the negative consequences may also help improve the sexual health of women who have already been victimized.

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Presented in Session 173: Power and Coercion in Sexual Behavior