New Study Finds That Sexually Active Teens Need Confidential Health Care


Rebecca Allen, MD, MPH, a clinician and researcher at Women & Infants Hospital of Rhode Island, and her colleague, Michelle Forcier, MD, MPH, an adolescent medicine specialist at Hasbro Children's Hospital, asserted that the nation needs to offer more confidential care for teenagers who are sexually active.

The Statistics

Forty-six percent of American teens ranging in age from fifteen to nineteen have had sex at least one time, and twenty percent of the teens have had sex by the age of fifteen. Although eight-three percent of females and ninety-one percent of males report using contraception, approximately 750,000 teens aged fifteen to nineteen get pregnant each year. This rate is two to four times higher than the birth rates among teens in other developed countries including Great Britain, Sweden and France where more adolescents use contraception. The United States is lacking in their responsibility to these sexually active teens.

Comment from Dr. Forcier

"Medical practices that do not differentiate between the needs of adolescents versus children or adults may miss opportunities to provide developmentally appropriate care," Dr. Forcier said, adding that the major task of adolescent development is for the individual to progress anatomically, physiologically, psychologically, sociologically and interpersonally. "Associated behaviors that arise during adolescence often continue into later years, impacting morbidity, mortality and quality of life."


Providing all teens whether they are sexually active or not sex education is of the utmost of importance. The majority of teens in this age group do not have the opportunity to speak with their doctors privately if they did then perhaps sex education and birth control options would be more readily available to these teens cutting down on unplanned pregnancies and the consequences that accompany them.


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