People can’t stop talking about Teen Vogue‘s guide to anal sex. It seems everyone has an opinion on the matter. Many have praised the publication for the guide, which they feel is both necessary and informative. Many others, mainly Christian extremists, have accused it of promoting sodomy and immorality and of being downright icky!
But a recent study proves just why the guide is so necessary. It found that young people are engaging in anal sex more than ever, and a lot of them are actually incredibly misinformed about it.
The study was conducted in the U.K. Researchers spoke with a number of young adults from a variety of different socioeconomic and educational backgrounds. What they found was that one in five 16-24 years olds reported doing anal in the past year. Those are some of the highest numbers ever reported.
But despite the number of young adults engaging in backdoor behavior, researchers also observed that many of them lacked thorough knowledge about it.
Many young women reported being subjected to “painful, risky and coercive” anal sex. In fact, both men and women said that “persuasion and coercion” came with the territory.
“I think it’s definitely the boy that pushes for it from watching porn and stuff, they wanna try it,” one male respondent said. “The girl is scared and thinks it’s weird, and then they try it because the boyfriend wants them to. They normally don’t enjoy it because they’re scared.”
There were also an alarming number of people who reported males attempting anal penetration without consent.
One participant said that if a partner said “no” after he tried “putting [his] finger in,” he might still keep trying.
“I can be very persuasive,” he bragged. “Like, sometimes, you just keep going, just keep going till they just get fed up and let you do it anyway.”
Several other male participants admitted to “trying it” without asking by telling their partners that “it slipped.”
“As soon as the whole incident happened where he didn’t warn me it just hurt,” a female respondent said. “It was just pain. It was just like–no. No one could possibly enjoy that. It was just horrible.”
Respondents also reported that they didn’t always use condoms when doing anal, and when they did it was often for hygienic reasons, not STD prevention. In fact, some interviewees reported that they believed it wasn’t possible to transmit STDS via anal intercourse, or that it less likely than with vaginal intercourse. These beliefs, of course, are totally false.
The bottom line: Teens and young adults are having anal sex and a lot of them don’t know what the hell they’re doing. Teen Vogue is doing them a service by helping them to navigate those waters.