Significant numbers of teens (15-18) are experiencing emotional and mental abuse as well as violence in their dating relationships; this is even more prevalent among teens that have had sex by the age of 14. commissioned Teenage Research Unlimited (TRU) to conduct quantitative research among tweens (ages 11-14), parents of tweens, and teens (ages 15-18) who have been in a relationship.
The research pertained to young dating relationships and the presence/absence of sexual activity and abusive behaviors.
The fall formal dance was just a week away and I was hoping a boy I liked would ask me to go with him.
There was no way I could leave the room: What if he called and I wasn’t there to answer the phone? Dorm rooms didn’t come with answering machines and the development of voice mail was light years away.
In the survey, 9.6 percent of females and 5.4 percent of males reported a lifetime history of sexual assault, and 10.6 percent of females and 9.5 percent of males said they had experienced dating violence in the past year.
Dating violence was defined as being hit, slapped or hurt on purpose by a boyfriend or girlfriend.
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TRU independently sampled the three groups and fielded a customized 15-minute survey online to each group from January 2-18, 2008; TRU chose online as the data-collection method for this research not only because of its high penetration (92%) among this population, but also because of the sensitive nature of the content, allowing young people to answer candidly (i.e., no adult interviewer) within the context of their preferred communications method.
A total of 1,043 tweens, 523 parents, and 626 teens completed the survey, resulting in a margin of error (at the 95% confidence level) of 3.0 percentage points for tweens in total, 3.9 points for parents, and 4.1 points for teens (5.5 among those 17-18).
(Liz Claiborne, Teen Research Unlimited Survey, released July 2008)A study of public high school students in New York City found females who recently experienced dating violence and males who experienced sexual assault some time in their lives are more likely to report suicide attempts than their counterparts without similar histories of violence.