Nearly 14% of high school girls reported having been forced to have sex at some point in their lives, and 18% reported experiencing sexual violence in 2021, according to a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) study released Monday.
This represents an uptick from 2011, when 12% of female students reported having been forced into sex, according to the CDC.
Rates of experiencing sexual violence also rose over the course of the decade, with 18% of high school girls reporting that they had been forced to do sexual acts, including kissing, touching, or sex, compared to 15% in 2011.
“If you think about every ten teen girls that you know, at least one and possibly more has been raped, and that is the highest level we’ve ever seen,” Kathleen Ethier, director of the CDC’s Division of Adolescent and School Health, told The Washington Post.
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Girls fared significantly worse than boys on mental health issues, the CDC found: 57% of high school girls reported persistent feelings of sadness and hopelessness over the past year, 41% reported poor mental health in the last 30 days, and 30% said they had seriously considered suicide in the past year, according to the survey. High school boys reported each of these experiences at about half the rate of girls.
Among male high school students, 4% reported having been forced to have sex in 2021, the same figure the CDC found in 2011, according to the survey.
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Students who identified as LGBT were four times as likely to report having been forced into sex at some point in their lives.
Rates of forced sex varied between ethnic groups, with 12% of multiracial women reporting being forced into sex compared to 8% of white women and 4% of Asian women, according to the CDC.
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