201741 Adolescent Sexual Health: From Risk Reduction to Health Promotion

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Kaiyti Duffy, MPH , Physicians for Reproductive Choice and Health, New York, NY
Penelope Vick, MPH , Education, Research, and Training, Physicians for Reproductive Choice and Health, New York, NY
Anita Brakman, MS , Medical Education Research and Training, Physicians for Reproductive Choice and Health, New York
In the United States today, there is a pervasive unease about adolescent sexual behavior. From the media to the medical community, sexual development has been pathologized by mischaracterizing all adolescent sexual behavior as risky, and exaggerating the prevalence of true risk behavior. Despite this intensive focus and scrutiny of teen sexual behaviors, the US has some of the highest teen pregnancy and STD rates in the western world far beneath those of Western and Northern European countries.

Through this workshop, presenters will discuss how viewing adolescent sexuality within the context of risk affects adolescent reproductive health outcomes. We will also examine the way that clinicians and public health professionals contribute to this paradigm. Specifically, we will challenge participants to begin thinking about how the current medical model separates sexuality from normative adolescent development and fails to recognize that sexual health is more than the absence of pregnancy and disease. The presenters will then dialogue with the audience about ways that clinicians and public health professionals can move away from the old paradigm of sexual risk prevention and move toward a more holistic approach to promoting healthy sexuality in young people.

Learning Objectives:
1. Discuss the disparities in reproductive health statistics between the United States and other westernized countries 2. Explain some of the societal forces that contribute to these disparities 3. Identify ways that clinicians and public health professionals can challenge the paradigm of sexual risk prevention and move toward a more holistic approach to promoting healthy sexuality in young people

Keywords: Adolescent Health, Sexuality

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am collaborator on the Adolescent Reproductive Health Education Project on an ongoing basis.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.