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Vaginal injuries 'as common as rape in consensual sex'

April 1, 2012 - London

Researchers have cast doubt over the commonly held belief that vaginal injuries proves forced intercourse.

When police officers around the world investigate rape cases, the presence of lesions inside a woman's va**ina is considered as an indicator of whether she has been assaulted.

However, an in-depth study comparing rape victims with nursing students at the University of Southern Denmark reveals that vaginal injuries are just as likely to result from consensual sex as rape.

"The findings are extremely interesting," the Daily Mail quoted Birgitte Schmidt Astrup, a doctor and a PhD student at the university's Institute of Forensic Medicine, as telling ScienceNordic.

"The nursing students experience just as frequent vaginal injuries as rape victims, and so these injuries cannot be used for much more than to establish that intercourse has taken place."

The study took into consideration 110 nursing students in their early 20s and 39 rape victims from Centre for Rape Victims at Odense University Hospital, all who whom were examined less than 28 hours after sexual intercourse.

The results showed that vaginal injuries were found in 36 per cent of rape victims and in 34 per cent of the nursing students.

The outcomes were not affected by whether they had engaged in rough or gentle sex, or whether they had used condoms or sex toys.

"Before I came up with some of these figures, the investigators were inclined to be take the case seriously when there were injuries and less seriously when there were no injuries."

She also added that while the figures for injuries remained more or less the same for consensual sex as rape there could be an increased risk of sustaining multiple injuries during forced intercourse.

The study has been published in the journal Forensic Science International.


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