Counseling on alcohol key to teens’ sexual health


NEW YORK (Reuters Health) – When health care providers are talking with adolescents about sexual health, alcohol must be a part of the conversation, conclude two researchers from the UK based on a survey of boys’ and girls’ attitudes about sexual relationships.

“We must ensure that alcohol education is a key element of sex education and help young people to realize the vulnerability to sexual ill health alcohol abuse can create,” Dr. Mark Hayter of the University of Sheffield in the UK, who conducted the research with Dr. Christina Harrison of Doncaster Primary Care Trust, told Reuters Health.

In most of the world, adolescents are at high risk of sexual health problems such as unplanned pregnancy and sexually transmitted infections, Hayter and Harrison note in a report in the Journal of Clinical Nursing. To better understand gender differences in how young people think about sex, the researchers conducted 10 focus groups with 35 14- to 16-year-olds. The teens were attending a sexual health clinic based at a youth club serving a “socially deprived” area with a high rate of teen pregnancy. Five groups were all girls, and the rest were all boys.

Each group discussed four scenarios: a couple in which the girl doesn’t want to have sex but the boy does; a boy who is being tormented by his friends because he doesn’t want to have sex with his girlfriend; a popular girl who is reputed to be having sex with lots of older boys; and a girl who is placed in a situation where she is expected to have sex after her two friends pair off with three boys visiting them at a sleepover.

The researchers found stark differences in how boys and girls talked about these situations.

The girls showed a much more complex understanding of the situations and exhibited empathy for the people involved, including the boys. But the boys only discussed how the male in the situation was thinking, “not demonstrating any empathy with the female partner in the relationship,” they explain.

And while the girls never used “negative, aggressive or coercive language” when discussing sex, the boys did. For example, some said that a boy whose girlfriend slept around would have the right to “slap her in the face” and that exerting pressure on a girl to have sex is “not a proper rape sort of thing.”

Boys also talked about getting girls drunk so they would be more likely to have sex with them.

Hayter and Harrison suggest that health care professionals who work with adolescents do what they can to get young males to think about how girls feel and to empathize with them, while helping young women to develop the social skills they need to resist pressure from boys and from their peers to have sex.

Also, they add, “helping young people to approach alcohol sensibly should be a key element of sexual health promotion,” given that alcohol and sex are “inextricably linked.”

SOURCE: Journal of Clinical Nursing, November 2008.


– article is about concerns with alcoholic beverages and sex. Doctors are considering alcohol a key element that trigger’s teenagers to have sex. They have the concerns of having unplanned pregnancy and STD’s. Good thing sex education is open or just taken as normal in the U.S. and U.K., unlike here in the Philippines, I really dont know their side if they would like to consider sex education a need for teenagers. Any way. . .for me, this study is a benefit for us. It’s like a domino effect that this alcoholic beverages makes teens indulge to sex, which may result to unplanned pregnancy or may result to infections which we call STD. Would like to thank the Doctors who came up with this idea, this would help teens to understand more. 


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November 2008


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