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Wednesday, September 27, 2023

Half of women between 15 and 29 years old believe that they may suffer sexual violence

More than half of adolescents and young people between 15 and 29 years old (51.5%) believe that they may suffer sexual violence. A fear that exceeds the percentage of men by 28 points (23.7%), according to the IV Youth Barometer 2023. Health and Wellbeingpublished this Tuesday by the Mutua Madrileña Foundation and Fad Juvenil.

The study – which collects the opinions and perceptions of more than 1,500 young Spaniards under thirty years of age – provides worrying data on risk behaviors in this age group (drug consumption, reckless driving, harassment and bullying). physical violence or linked to sexuality). 51.1% acknowledge having had unprotected or risky sexual relations at least once in the last year. Of that proportion, almost two in ten (19%) say they do it frequently.

“Clearly, We must carry out affective-sexual education with a gender focus. And it has to be done from families, educational centers, media… as a society we have relaxed a lot there,” he says. 20 minutes Anna Sanmartín, deputy director of the Reina Sofía Center on Adolescence and Youth of Fad. Sanmartín, who is also co-author of the study, points out in this sense the influence that she is having pornography consumption at very early ages in this type of behavior. “All of this is playing in the imaginations of youth. In the end one goes to the Internet or to their peers because there are still many taboos in families. The problem is that now it is very accessible when it was not so accessible before, so we have to double the efforts,” he emphasizes.

According to Sanmartín, the issue of risky sexual relations and even violence in these types of acts is an issue that does not diminish, as has also been confirmed in other studies carried out by the Foundation. The difference in this perception of risk, which is almost double between women and men, lies in the fact that they are the ones who suffer the consequences of these behaviors. “Sexual violence is suffered by women, mainly women, and they are very aware of it. And also on issues of contagion of sexually transmitted diseases and unwanted pregnancies. The woman’s body is clearly the one that suffers all these consequences,” she emphasizes.

Barometer 2023 on youth and health.
Barometer 2023 on youth and health.
Mutua Madrileña and Fad Juventud

The report also sheds light on other common risk behaviors, such as getting into fights. Asked about participation in fights and physical confrontations, Four out of ten acknowledge having contributed to one, and 9.2% claim to do so regularly.

The same happens with the reckless driving: 21.2% of the young people surveyed have driven after smoking joints at least once in the last six months, while 9.1% have done so recurrently. Furthermore, one in four (26.6%) has driven after consuming alcohol at least once in the last six months, although fewer (7.5%) do so frequently.

A before and after with the pandemic

According to Fad and Mutua Madrileña, “the pandemic has marked a before and after in the way in which young people face certain risky behaviors.” Now, they have an impact, they take less risks, “but certain practices compensate them more despite the insecurity they perceive in them.”

This is revealed by data from previous barometers: in 2017 an upward trend in risk behaviors began that reached its peak in 2021 and decreased again in 2023. For example, if in 2017 14.6% of young people He confessed to “getting drunk without losing consciousness”; In 2021, 26.3% assured it; and this year 17.6% say so. It is not back to the levels of six years ago, but there is a certain decline.

However, the behaviors that involve greater risk are the only ones that have continued to grow. The consumption of cocaine or pills has grown more than one point compared to 2019: four years ago 6.8% of young people between 15 and 29 years old did it, and now 7.9% say they do it. Along these lines, the proportion of the young population that admits driving after consuming drugs or alcohol has also increased: from 5.6% in 2017; to 7.7% in 2021; and up to 8% this year. And the same with fights: from 6.9% who said they got into them in 2017, to 9.3% in 2023.

There is, according to research, a tendency “to put benefits ahead of risks”, which – they sense – could be a consequence of the restrictions imposed during the pandemic and its subsequent lifting and “exacerbation” of the idea of ​​”maximum enjoyment.”

This incidence varies, however, according to gender and age. The research reveals that “Men stand out above women” in all the risk behaviors studied, “doubling the percentages.” Furthermore, it is the youngest people (15 to 19 years old) who tend to take on more risky situations compared to the older age group.

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