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So, About That Study...

Over the weekend, we linked to reports on the presentation of a study in our Twitter feed and on our Facebook about the effect of sex during adolescence on academics, such as college goals, grade point average, dropout, truancy and absentee rates. On Sunday and Monday, the piece got a whole lot of media and internet airplay, even though it was clear few, if any, reporting on it had yet looked at the study itself.

This morning, we were able to sit down and read the study, Sex and School: Adolescent Sexual Intercourse and Education (Bill McCarthy, Sociology, University of California Davis and Eric Grodsky, Sociology, University of Minnesota), which Bill McCarthy graciously emailed us when we requested it, and he also graciously answered a few of my questions about it directly. We're going to have a larger conversation with them soon that we'll publish here, but as that may take a while, we wanted to clear some of the smoke before it got much thicker. It's a solid study with some importa

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Dealing with Date Rape & Abuse

HurtandUsed asks:

Okay, this happened to me a few months ago but it's been really bothering me. I was dating a guy for a while and when we started dating, I told him I didn't want to do anything sexual till I was 18. He promised that it was okay for him and he wouldn't do or try anything. Well, after we were dating for about 8 months, he started to change. He would get ticked off at me if I didn't spend every minute of my time with him. He wouldn't let me hang out or even talk to any of my friends. Then he started saying things to me that were perverted but I just shrugged them off as him just joking around. He then started touching my chest area, and I told him to stop, but he just acted like it was always an accident. He kept on doing it even at school, so I just gave up, and didn't care if he touched me there anymore even though in the back of my head I knew it was wrong. Then one day, we were over at his house lying on his bed, and I guess you could say we were making out. I really regret it now. Then he did something he never did before, He put his hands up my shirt and took off my bra. I couldn't say no because it was already too late.

I was molested on an airplane: was it my fault?

Amsinha asks:

When flying on a plane back to New York I ended up sitting next to a man who had the wrong idea about me. He started out by complimenting me but the moment I lay down to sleep he started kissing me and feeling my breasts and ass sexually without my consent. This happened the day after I turned 18 and he made two very obvious attempts to engage me in something I wasn't into and didn't want. When I returned to my seat after a while the guy noticed that I was pissed and began talking to me about his reasons, one of which was that he asked for consent and that I gave it to him. I don't remember his asking or my consent partly because I was in a state of half asleep and listening to my ipod on maximum volume. The two of us had four seats to ourselves which I used to push him away from me after the fact, however throughout the rest of the flight and the last few days I have had a nagging feeling in the back of my head that I somehow told him it was okay even though it felt completely wrong and one sided.

Sexually harassed at work: what should I do?

Kayla asks:

There's this guy at work who keep hitting on me. At first it seemed like innocent flirting but it's gotten downright vulgar and creepy. He's 15 years older than me. I'd like to remain friends with him, if possible but he seems to think that when I turn 18 it will be okay that he says completely inappropriate things in the workplace. I'd rather not file a complaint but I will if I try everything you tell me and it doesn't stop. A friend also suggested that I drop his girlfriend a line through email letting her know what's going on. I think that would be kind of mean and may even make him violent. He's really pushy so it scares me a bit. I'd like to know how to convey to him to knock it off without hurting his feelings or getting anyone else involved.

Did my doctor abuse me?

Anni asks:

I had to go to the doctor for a sports physical for school. While I was there my doctor made me take off my clothes and he looked at my breasts and vagina: was he allowed to do this?

Dealing With Rape

If you have NOT gladly and freely consented to and participated in sexual activity -- if you have not in some way said a big yes and wanted to keep saying a big yes -- and someone else had sex with you anyway, that is rape. No matter what ANYONE tells you, it is not your fault. There certainly is fault, but it lies with the rapist, not the victim.

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