Incidence and correlates of unwanted sex in relationships of middle and late adolescent women

Margaret J. Blythe, J. Dennis Fortenberry, M'Hamed Temkit, Wanzhu Tu, Donald P. Orr

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

29 Scopus citations


Objectives: To determine the 3-month incidence of unwanted sex and to examine relationship factors and health-risk behaviors associated with incident unwanted sex. Design: Data collected from face-to-face interviews every 3 months in a longitudinal study with a minimum of 2 interviews and maximum of 10 across 27 months. Setting: Primary health care clinics for teens in an urban setting. Participants: Adolescent women aged 14 through 17 years. Main Outcome Measures: At each 3-month visit, cervical and vaginal specimens were obtained for the evaluation of Chlamydia trachomatis, Neisseria gonorrhoeae, and Trichomonas vaginalis infection; for each partner, relationship characteristics and sexual behaviors were assessed, as well as the occurrence of unwanted sex. A logistic model was used to account for within-subject variability to model the probability of unwanted sex as a function of predictor variables. Results: A total of 279 participants with a mean age of 15.9 years were enrolled, and most were African American (88.5% [247/279]). Unwanted sex was reported by 40.9% (n=114) of participants and in 15.5% (292/1880) of partner-visits. The most prevalent type of unwanted sex was due to fear that the partner would get angry if denied sex (37.6%, or 105 participants). Factors associated with unwanted sex included having a baby with the partner, lower relationship quality, lack of sexual control, less condom use, and partner marijuana use. Conclusions: Unwanted sex occurs often within the sexual relationships of teens. These unwanted sexual experiences result in risk for sexually transmitted infections and pregnancies. Sexual health counseling to reduce risk should focus on both the patient's and the partner's behaviors.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)591-595
Number of pages5
JournalArchives of Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine
Issue number6
StatePublished - 2006

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health

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