Adolescent sexuality.

I. F. Litt, M. I. Cohen

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Sexuality should be viewed as a continuum beginning from infancy throughtout life. The pediatrician, having been the observer and recorder of growth and development since the birth of a child can contribute to the teenager's development of a healthy sexual identity and body image. The pediatrician can take several approaches to the sexual history of adolescence: 1) preventive approach--teaching youngsters to examine his testes or her breasts; discussing furture risks of pregnancy or venereal disease; 2) physical developmental approach--discussing physical changes which may be accompanied by new feeling that are sexual in nature; and 3) social developmental approach--tactfully discussing dating patterns of teenagers to obtain information on adolescent sexual thoughts; concerns and behavior. Although pediatricians relate best to parents, the significant 'other' (the steady boyfriend) should also be involved in counseling. Compliance is unlikely if the sexual partner does not believe in birth control. As development of sexuality in the adolescents are related to physical developments development of intrafamilial and peer relations, and cognitive function and personality the pediatrician must be knowledgeable about these areas. Rape and homosexuality are also discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)119-136
Number of pages18
JournalAdvances in pediatrics
StatePublished - Dec 1 1979
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health


Dive into the research topics of 'Adolescent sexuality.'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this