From U.S. News and World Report :
Women who've witnessed or been the victims of violence may be more likely to engage in risky sexual behavior, according to new research.
The study included 481 women being treated at a sexually transmitted disease clinic who were assessed for a history of violence and current sexual risk-taking behaviors, such as having a high number of partners or having unprotected sex.
The researchers categorized the women as those having low exposure to violence (39 percent), those who were mainly exposed to community violence (20 percent), those who experienced childhood maltreatment (23 percent), and those who were victims of multiple forms of violence (18 percent).
Women who were exposed to community violence and those who suffered multiple forms of violence had the highest levels of risky sexual behavior, said the researchers at the Centers for Behavioral and Preventive Medicine at The Miriam Hospital in Providence, R.I.
"Sadly, our results show that many women must cope with multiple forms of violence, and that some combinations of violent experiences put women at risk for HIV, other STDs or unplanned pregnancy -- not to mention the risks from the violence itself," lead author Jennifer Walsh said in a hospital news release.