Washington D.C. [USA], Mar. 20 : Teenagers, who are open to casual sex, are more often involved in sexual harassment -- both as victims and as perpetrators, says a new study.
The study further says that they also fantasize more about casual sex and find it more acceptable to have sex without any commitment or emotional closeness.
According to researchers, the teens, who have been sexually harassed, are more strongly inclined to have casual sex than others.
"We're trying to understand the psychological mechanisms that underlie harassment," said Mons Bendixen from the Norwegian University of Science and Technology in Norway's Trondheim.
"This clearly belongs to the schools' sex education training," Bendixen added. It might be that a preference for casual sex results in more sexual solicitations in general, including undesirable ones, but the researchers have not yet examined this hypothesis.
"We've studied this issue to find out more about the mechanisms at work. This gives us a more solid empirical base for doing something about sexual harassment," said Professor Leif Edward Ottesen Kennair.
The researchers' ultimate goal is to develop methods for reducing sexual harassment. Individuals, who sexually harass others, appear to be motivated primarily by sexual interest. The study included 1326 heterosexual girls and boys with an average age of nearly 18 years. The results indicated 60 percent of the girls and boys in the survey reported that they had been sexually harassed in the last year.
Around 30 percent of the girls and 45 per cent of the boys admitted that they had sexually harassed someone one or more times.
The results suggests that people often think of sexual harassment solely as something boys do to girls.
But that's simply not the case. Boys who harass girls make up the second most common type of harassment and girls harassing boys is the least common scenario.
"Young people need good scripts for how to communicate their sexual interest and how to interpret this interin others," says Bendixen.