Overweight And Underweight Teen Girls More Likely To Have Risky Sex

Here’s a strange study for you. Gynecology professor Aletha Akers just led a study about the sexual activity of teenage girls, surveying almost 7,200 girls about risky sexual behavior. The survey concluded that girls who are underweight, healthy weight, and overweight are equally as likely to have had sex. But apparently girls in the overweight and underweight categories are more likely to have had risky sex—they’re more likely to fail to use condoms, have sex while drinking, and to have had sex with more than four partners. Akers believes that this effect has more to do with a teenager’s self-perception than with the actual number on the scale. Women on the ends of the spectrum may feel dips in their self-esteem, which maybe leads to some of these behaviors? Also interesting, the type of unsafe sex can be predicted to a certain extent by the girl’s race. For example, overweight Caucasian girls are less likely to use condoms than Caucasians of normal weight, and African-American teenage girls who are underweight are less likely to use a rubber. Why on earth is there a difference? [Salon]