The Connection Between Risky Sex and Neighborhood ViolenceS

Women who are regularly exposed to violence are more likely to have more sex with unprotected partners, according to a depressing but unsurprising study.

Researchers studied almost 500 primarily black, low-income patients at an urban STD clinic and found that experiencing diverse forms of violence, from simply observing neighborhood crimes to actually being sexually or otherwise physically abused, puts women at risk for STDS and unplanned pregnancies. The women that reported high levels of "community violence" — and a mixture of several types at once, at that — were the most likely to drink and use drugs before sex, and not in a fun or inconsequential way.

This is, obviously, not the most uplifting study ever conducted, but it's an important one — while previous research had linked violence and sexually risky behavior, few studies have specifically analyzed the impact certain patterns of violence have on sexual risk-taking. The results will hopefully help clinicians better serve the women who need their services the most.

Women with Violent Pasts More Likely to Have Risky Sex [PsychCentral]

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