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Quarter of black boys in US urban areas have sex before 13

STATISTICS: New study suggests a quarter of black boys in urban areas have had sex under the age of 13

A NEW US study has found about a quarter of black boys in urban areas have had sex before the age of 13.

The researchers, led by Johns Hopkins Medicine in Baltimore, said between eight and 12 percent of all boys have had sex before 13, but it was higher in inner cities.

Nearly 40 percent said they had ‘mixed feelings’ about their sexual experience and around 10 percent said it was unwanted, with some boys saying they were coerced or pressured by their peers to have sex before they were ready.

According to the researchers, the findings prove a need for early access to sex education, sexual health clinics and mental health facilities for inner city boys.

Speaking on the findings, senior author Dr Arik Marcell, an associate professor of pediatrics Johns Hopkins, said: “Young men having sex before age 13 usually haven't received the appropriate sex education and services, and we need a better system to respond to their needs.

“The cultural double standard about sexual behavior in the US, in which it is okay for young boys, but not girls, to be sexually active, has prevented us from effectively addressing male adolescents' vulnerabilities and their healthy sexual development.”

Dr Marcell added: “I have heard boys and adolescents talking about their first sex encounters in a way that suggests they didn't anticipate, understand or know what was happening or what's appropriate and what's not

“I was concerned that such early sex experiences happening to boys could be unwanted and influence their future health.”

For future studies, the team wants to look at how the age at which men have sex for the first time affects future sexual experiences.

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