Sunday October 20, 2019

More than 3.3 Million Women in US had Unwanted and Forced First Sexual Intercourse Experience

The #MeToo movement has highlighted how frequently women experience sexual violence

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Women, US, Sexual Intercourse
The study, published in the journal JAMA Internal Medicine, estimates that one in 16 US women had an unwanted first sexual intercourse experience that was physically forced or coerced. Pixabay

More than 3.3 million women in the US had unwanted and forced first sexual intercourse experience, a new study suggests.

The study, published in the journal JAMA Internal Medicine, estimates that one in 16 US women had an unwanted first sexual intercourse experience that was physically forced or coerced.

The #MeToo movement has highlighted how frequently women experience sexual violence. However, no recent studies have assessed the prevalence of forced sex during girls’ and women’s first sexual encounter or its health consequences.

In an analysis of nationally representative survey data of 13,310 women, 6.5 per cent of the respondents reported a forced first sexual intercourse encounter, which is equivalent to more than 3.3 million women between the ages of 18 and 44.

Women, US, Sexual Intercourse
More than 3.3 million women in the US had unwanted and forced first sexual intercourse experience, a new study suggests. Pixabay

The average age for women at the time of the forced encounter was 15-and-a-half compared with 17-and-a-half for those reporting a voluntary first sexual intercourse experience, according to researchers from Harvard University in the US.

The average age of the assailant at a first forced sexual intercourse was 27 as compared with the 21 of the partner in a voluntary first sexual experience, the study said.

According to the survey, women with a forced first sexual intercourse experience were more likely to have an unwanted first pregnancy or abortion, as well as other gynaecological and general health problems.

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These findings could help doctors improve the medical care of women and girls and inform the development of public health policies aimed at reducing forced sexual initiation in the US, said the researchers. (IANS)

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The First All-Women Spacewalk is Set to Take Place This Week: NASA

According to NASA, The Spacewalk will last approximately six and a half hours

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Spacewalk
The Spacewalk will last approximately six and a half hours, according to NASA. Pixabay

The first all-woman spacewalk is set to take place this week itself as NASA astronauts Christina Koch and Jessica Meir are scheduled to venture outside the International Space Station (ISS) on October 17 or October 18.

The spacewalk will last approximately six and a half hours, according to NASA.

“@Space_Station update: our first all-female spacewalk with @Astro_Christina and @Astro_Jessica will be Thursday or Friday to replace a faulty battery charge-discharge unit,” NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine tweeted on Tuesday.

Station managers decided to postpone previously planned spacewalks that had been set to install new batteries this week and next in order to replace the faulty power unit, called a Battery Charge/Discharge Unit (BCDU).

The BCDU failed to activate following the October 11 installation of new lithium-ion batteries on the space station’s truss.

Spacewalk
The Spacewalk will last approximately six and a half hours, according to NASA. Pixabay

NASA said that the BCDU failure has not impacted station operations, safety of the crew, or the ongoing experiments aboard the orbiting laboratory, many in preparation for future human missions to the Moon and Mars.

However, the failed power unit does prevent a new lithium-ion battery installed earlier this month from providing additional station power.

An all-woman spacewalk, involving Koch and NASA astronaut Anne McClain, was originally scheduled for March.

But that spacewalk was scuttled because properly fitted spacesuits could not be readied in time for both astronauts, Space.com reported.

Spacewalk
An all-woman Spacewalk, involving Koch and NASA astronaut Anne McClain, was originally scheduled for March. Pixabay

So far, the 15 women who have conducted a spacewalk did so with a male companion. So when Koch and Meir venture out of the space station this week, they will make some long-overdue history.

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This will be Koch’s fourth spacewalk and Meir’s first. (IANS)