Article of the Day: Anal sex study reveals climate of ‘coercion’

A study on why teenage heterosexual couples may engage in anal sex has revealed a climate of coercion, with consent and mutuality not always a priority for the boys who are trying to persuade girls into having it.

Researchers at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine interviewed 130 teenagers aged 16-18 in three sites across the country to “explore expectations, experiences and circumstances of anal sex among young people”.

The qualitative study found that anal heterosex appeared to be “painful, risky and coercive, particularly for women”, while males spoke of being expected to persuade or coerce reluctant partners.

“Anal sex is increasingly prevalent among young people, yet anal intercourse between men and women—although commonly depicted in sexually explicit media—is usually absent from mainstream sexuality education and seems unmentionable in many social contexts,” the study, published onBMJ Open, says.

It found that some young people normalised “coercive, painful and unsafe anal sex”, in an issue that needs to be addressed by health workers and schools in sex education.

All the more reason safe anal sex techniques need to be taught. No one should be coercing anyone into having anal, and if you do things properly it should never hurt or cause damage. While this study is important and reveals a problem, it’s unfortunate that the article covering it does not even bother to mention that anal sex does not hurt when done correctly and that everyone involved in this study has clearly not been informed about how to properly have anal sex without pain.

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