Poll: 1 in 3 Young Girls in Israel Has Been Pressured Into Sexual Contact

Sex as a central measure of social status: Over a quarter of respondents say sexually active girls more accepted by their peers.

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A new study has revealed that 37% of young girls have been pressured by men to engage in sexual contact (anywhere from kissing, to petting, to intercourse).

The study, conducted by the Midgam Institute for the Hashomer Hatza’ir youth movement, collected data from 300 girls between the ages of 16 and 18, and found 18% of the girls questioned have experienced more than one such incident.

The movement sought to examine sexual interaction among youth in the wake of recent scandals, including the Eyal Golan affair, that have increased public awareness over issues of young girls consenting to sex, and their perceptions of sexuality.

The study also revealed that 22% of respondents knew of another girl who had sexual conduct imposed on them.

Another 27% of respondents answered that sexually active girls are more accepted by their peers, and only 8% respondent that such girls would be less accepted.

The rest stated that sexual activity and acceptance are not related.

The study also showed that 34% of respondents believe that sexual relations between men over the age of 18 and girls under 16 should be permitted by law, if both parties are consensual.

Hadas Matewicz, education coordinator for Hashomer Hatza’ir, said: “We’re meeting many young boys and girls who don’t view sex as related to enjoyment or intimacy. Instead, it’s become a measure of social status.

“The age at which young boys and girls are expected by their peers to begin being sexually active is getting lower and lower,” said Matewicz.

Students in Jerusalem's Sieff and Marks school.Credit: Michal Fattal

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