AAP offers guidance for discussing sexual health with male teens

May 5, 2020

The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) has issued a new clinical report on promoting sexual and reproductive health in adolescent males.

Talking to adolescent patients about sexuality and reproductive health at routine intervals is key to promoting sexual health and ensuring that adolescents have a place to get accurate information in a nonjudgmental area. A new clinical report in Pediatrics highlights how to effectively talk to male teenagers.

The American Academy of Pediatrics’ Committee on Adolescence last issued a clinical report on male adolescent sexual and reproductive health care in 2011. The new 2020 clinical report examined issues in health confidentiality, social media use, sexual consent, and updated information on sexually transmitted infections (STIs).1

The key information from the report includes:

·      Discuss sex and sexuality with every male teenager during all routine visits and more frequently, when appropriate. Be sure to screen for high-risk sexual activity during routine visits.

·      Ask male teenagers about social media use, particularly material that is sexually explicit; pornography viewing, including a discussion about how the patient perceives the material; and safe Internet use.

·      Ask about any nonconsensual sexual activity. Discuss sexual consent and nonconsent at well visits and during other visits, when appropriate.

·      Talk with male teenagers about how to talk with their partner about sex and contraception. Promote joint decision-making regarding sex between partners and encourage contraception and barrier use.

·      Do routine risk assessment screenings for STIs for all adolescent male patients. Test for and treat STIs when needed.

·      Provide human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccines to all boys aged 11 years and attempt to complete the HPV vaccine course in all male patients. For male patients who engage in high-risk behaviors, emphasize the importance of finishing the HPV vaccine course.

·      Screen for any sexual problems in male patients who are sexually active and provide treatment when appropriate.

References:

1.    Grubb LK, Powers M; Committee on Adolescence. Emerging issues in male adolescent sexual and reproductive health care. Pediatrics. 2020;145(5):e20200627. doi: 10.1542/peds.2020-0627