Issues relating to sexuality often become a focus of adolescent health care between the ages of 11 and 22 in preventive care and as presenting medical problems. The range of issues is enormous, and the “presenting patient” may be either the adolescent or concerned parents who may look to the physician for counsel, evaluation, and solutions related to sexual behavior of the youth in the family. Our culture has notoriously distorted the role of sexuality in human relationships, often making effective interventions and education difficult. As a result of this distortion, many youth have come to believe that one rite of passage into adulthood is sexual intercourse. They mimic sexual behavior as portrayed by the media—sexual behavior that is often without communication, consequence, or commitment.
KeywordsHuman Immunodeficiency Virus Sexual Behavior Sexual Orientation Sexual Intercourse Young Person
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