BOSTON December 21, 2011 (LifeSiteNews.com) – One in 13 girls aged 14-to-20, or about 7.7 percent, who participated in a recent study from Boston University’s School of Public Health said they have engaged in “Multi-Person Sex” (MPS), reports the Daily Mail. Researchers believe imitation of pornography is a leading cause.

The study involved 328 girls from underprivileged areas of the city who had visited a neighborhood clinic for sexual health issues. However, economic status did not appear to be determinative of risky sexual behavior.

The study found more than half of the girls who had engaged in MPS had been coerced into having group sex by a boy or forced into a “gang rape,” and one-third of participants had used drugs or alcohol before the encounter. In 45 percent of MPS encounters, at least one male did not use a condom.

The average age when girls began having intercourse with multiple partners was 15.6.

Researchers said the use of pornography – by either partner – was a primary influence. “Girls were five times more likely to engage in MPS if they or their boyfriends had watched porn,” said Emily Rothman, an Associate Professor in the Department of Community Health Sciences at the university. “Out of those who engaged in MPS, 50 percent did things their partners saw in porn first. Porn may be influencing the sexual behavior of these teens.”

The researchers findings give further credence to the conclusions of Canadian filmmaker Sharlene Azam, whose 2009 documentary Oral Sex is the New Goodnight Kiss documented girls as young as 11 going to sex parties and having intercourse with multiple partners. Azam attributed teenage hypersexual behavior to porn consumption.

Patrick A. Trueman, President of Morality in Media, told LifeSiteNews.com, “While the [Boston University] report is shocking, it is not altogether a surprise because…we know from scientific studies [pornography use] leads one to engage in the same activities that are viewed in the pornographic film.”

A 2005 survey found,  “Unwanted porn found its way to 17% of 10- to 11-year-old boys, 16% of girls 10 to 11 years old.”

Trueman, the former Chief of the Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section of the Justice Department, said that pornography distorts an underdeveloped part of teenagers’ brains known as the prefrontal cortex, which is “the home of good decision-making and reasoning.”

Scientists and psychologists have concluded this has a lifelong impact on growing boys and girls. “While masturbating to porn, the adolescent brain is being shaped around a sexual experience that is isolating, visceral, and completely void of any love or compassion,” wrote Alexandra Katehakis of Psychology Today. “This has the potential to lead to great problems in sexual compulsivity and sex addiction throughout the adolescent boy’s life, because his brain gets shaped to expect the ‘heroin-like’ porn dopamine rush from all of his real-life sexual experiences.” This expectation will lead the teen to “seek out riskier and more visceral experiences that resonate with his early porn use.”

A 2009 CyberSentinel poll claims 13-to-16 year-olds spend almost two hours a week viewing pornography. The average age a child is first exposed to internet pornography is 11.

According to Psychology Today, a 2010 study of 73 Swedish teenagers aged 14-20 revealed that teenage boys who viewed pornography accepted the notion that “women are there solely to satisfy the men’s needs…more or less uncritically.”