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Study: Nearly 1 in 5 women reportedly raped

A government survey of rape and domestic violence released Wednesday affirmed that sexual violence against women remains endemic in the United States and in some instances may be far more common than previously thought.

Nearly 1 in 5 women surveyed said they had been raped or had experienced an attempted rape at some point, and 1 in 4 reported being beaten by an intimate partner. In Florida, nearly 1.3 million women (17.1 percent) say that have been raped at some time in their lives.

"That almost 1 in 5 women have been raped in their lifetime is very striking," said Linda Degutis, director of the National Center for Injury Prevention and Control at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, which conducted the National Intimate Partner and Sexual Violence Survey.

Fewer are marrying

When it comes to saying "I do," more and more Americans seem to really mean, "Not so much," according to a new analysis of marriage.

Just over half of all adult Americans, 51 percent, are currently married, according to an analysis of U.S. Census data by the Pew Research Center. The center predicts that, if current trends continue, the share of currently married adults will fall below half within a few years. In 1960, 72 percent of all adults 18 and older were married.

In Florida, a little less than half of adults are married.

The analysis shows that, though the traditional marriage is giving way, other lifestyle forms — including cohabitation, single-person households and single parenthood — are growing. It found that the number of new marriages in the United States declined by 5 percent from 2009 to 2010.

Divorce has been a factor in keeping the ranks of the currently married down, but it is unclear how important it has been. Divorce rates climbed in the 1960s and 1970s, but have leveled off in the past two decades. About 72 percent of adults have been married at least once, down from 85 percent in 1960.

More now low-income

A record number of Americans — nearly 1 in 2 — have fallen into poverty or are scraping by on earnings that classify them as low income.

About 97.3 million Americans fall into a low-income category, commonly defined as those earning between 100 and 199 percent of the poverty level, based on a new supplemental measure by the Census Bureau. Together with the 49.1 million who fall below the poverty line and are counted as poor, they number 146.4 million, or 48 percent of the U.S. population. That's up by 4 million from 2009, the earliest numbers for the newly developed poverty measure.

Following the recession that began in late 2007, the share of working families who are low income has risen for three straight years to 31.2 percent, or 10.2 million. That proportion is the highest in at least a decade, up from 27 percent in 2002, according to a new analysis by the Working Poor Families Project and the Population Reference Bureau, a nonprofit research group based in Washington.

Teen marijuana use rising

More teens are turning to pot and see it as less of a risk at the same time alcohol use among the same age group has dipped to historic lows, according to an annual national survey of drug use released Wednesday.

The findings are from the Monitoring the Future survey of 47,000 eighth-, 10th- and 12th-graders conducted by the University of Michigan for the National Institute on Drug Abuse.

One of every 15 high school seniors reported smoking pot on a daily or near daily basis, the highest rate since 1981. One of every nine high school seniors reported using synthetic marijuana, sometimes called Spice or K2, within the previous 12 months.

Alcohol use continued a trend of decline dating to the 1980s and hit a historic low for the survey, which began in the 1970s for 12th-graders. Forty percent of 12th-graders reported drinking in the previous 30 days during the 2011 survey, compared to 54 percent in 1991. Drinking also declined significantly at lower grade levels.

Other drugs showing some evidence of decline in use this year include cocaine, crack cocaine and inhalants.

Information from the New York Times, Los Angeles Times and Associated Press was used in this report.

Study: Nearly 1 in 5 women reportedly raped 12/14/11 [Last modified: Wednesday, December 14, 2011 10:24pm]
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