Recently, researchers at the Bradley Hasbro Children’s Research Center in Rhode Island suggested that anal sex is on the rise among teens and young adults, particularly those who have unprotected vaginal sex. Experts say girls and young women like Carry are often persuaded to try such sexual behavior for the wrong reasons — to please a partner, to have sex without the risk of pregnancy or to preserve their virginity. But many don’t understand the health consequences. Even though the topic of anal sex is often considered taboo, Lescano urges “open discussion” of its consequences in doctor’s offices, within sexual relationships and with parents. Anecdotally, young adults confirm the reports of a rise in anal sex, including the perception that it is safe.