Survey finds one in 16 women call their first sexual experience rape

Survey finds one in 16 women call their first sexual experience rape
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More than 1 in 16 women consider their first sexual experience to be rape, a study published Monday found.

In a survey of 13,310 American women from 18 to 44 years old, about 6.5 percent reported their first sexual experience was rape. The average age of those respondents at the time they were assaulted was about 15, while the average age of their assailants was 27, the study published in JAMA Internal Medicine reported.

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Those who experienced rape as their first sexual encounter were found to be more likely to have a variety of health problems, including unwanted pregnancies and abortions.

"It's quite alarming, and that's just the tip of the iceberg because this study is only including women aged 18 to 44," Laura Hawks, the head author of the study and research fellow at Cambridge Health Alliance, told NPR.

The researchers analyzed a dataset from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention that asked details about respondents' first sexual encounters for the study.

They noted the data was collected before the "Me Too" movement, so more women may be willing to come forward now, NPR reported.