Sex and substances: Does body image play a role?

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By bhadmin February 2, 2021

Having sex under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs places individuals at high risk for STI transmission and unplanned pregnancy. Although the relationship between body image and sexual behavior has been well established, research on the relationship between body image and sexual behavior under the influence among adolescents is scant. The purpose of this study is to investigate the relationship between body image and unprotected sex and unprotected sex while under the influence among adolescents. We conducted logistic regression analyses using data from the Oregon Youth Substance Use Project (N = 937). Measures included body image, unprotected sex, unprotected sex while inebriated, age, sex, and BMI. Body image was not related to unprotected sex, but was significantly related to unprotected sex while inebriated in the past year and in their lifetime (OR = 2.17, 2.33). Results suggest substance use may be important to the relationship between body image and sexual behavior among adolescents. Additional research is warranted to inform future interventions.

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