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'Teens being pressured into sex acts'

Sexual violence against teenagers from their peers is becoming more frequent but attitudes towards the victims of such violence remain negative.

Leading child psychologists have revealed that teenagers are increasingly pressured into sexual acts from a young age by their friends.

Despite this earlier sexualisation, a survey -- previewed in today's Herald -- shows that one in two young men still think that women who have been raped share a part of responsibility.

The combination of both factors is sure to have consequences on Ireland's young generation who feels that they need to experiment sexually early but who are later judgmental of those who do.

Clinical director of the Cari Foundation, Dr Niall Muldoon said that sex initiations within groups of teenagers had become more frequent over the past decade, possibly because of the impact of the internet.

He remarked that children and young people had immediate access to "graphic" material on internet search engines from their mobile phones and that this was bound to normalise behaviours that are far from ordinary.

Meanwhile, the Sexual Violence Centre in Cork has revealed that they have seen a "huge increase" in the number of teenagers that require their services.

Young rape and sexual assault victims are targeted by people they know in eight out of 10 cases.

The centre is set to release research on student's attitudes and awareness of sexual violence which shows that one in two young men think that women who dress provocatively and go out alone at night are putting themselves at the risk of rape.