Illinois action blog

Friday, August 6, 2010

Overweight Teens Participating in Riskier Sexual Activities

A recent study shows results that overweight and obese teen girls are more likely to participate in risky sexual practices than other young women. In conducting the study, researchers evaluated Youth Risk Behavior surveys for the years 2003-2007 to analyze trends in teen sex activities. These surveys were completed by over 20,000 high school girls. Researchers used standard definitions of weight: overweight is defined as the 85-95th weight percentile for a given age group, whereas obese is the 95th percentile and above.

Results showed that overweight teen girls were 60% more likely than girls with a "normal" weight to report having sex before the age of 13. The girls in the study were much less likely to use condoms and other forms of contraception; they also reported more sexual partners throughout their lifetime. Researchers suspect that increased weight is attributed to lower self-esteem which could lead to riskier sex practices. Another potential contributing factor is that overweight teens often mature physically at younger ages and begin attracting sexual male attention before other young girls.

Doctors believe that parents and communities must foster healthy sexual self-esteem so that girls understand their self-worth and learn to love and respect their bodies. Dr. Wyatt, a UCLA psychology professor, says that in order to achieve this goal we need to seek a multi-faceted approach in which churches, schools and parents alike teach healthy sexuality and refrain from abstinence-only education. It is important that young women are given comprehensive sex education so that they have the necessary information to make healthy, individual decisions.

To learn more about teen sexuality access this article :) Thoughts?...Let us know what you think about this study!

Technorati tags: teen health, sexuality


Anonymous philip said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

December 14, 2011 at 8:09 AM  

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