Throughout the past 50 years, when governments, researchers, and clinicians have discussed adolescent sexual and reproductive health, they have almost overwhelmingly focused on girls and young women. Even limiting to recent work, a perusal of the research literature since 2000 finds thousands of studies that focus only on girls and young women, compared with hundreds of studies that include both genders, but only tens of studies in sexual and reproductive health that focus exclusively on boys and young men. Within the Journal of Adolescent Health, such coverage is better, but still disproportionate; there are more studies in this journal that include both boys and girls, young women and young men, with several studies still exclusively focused on girls and young women, and relatively few studies that focus on populations of boys and young men. Most of the sexual health studies about male subjects are found in published abstracts in this journal, not in full articles or research briefs, and among the full-length articles, they have generally focused on subgroups of male subjects whose sexual health (although maybe not reproductive health) is considered problematic, for example, young men who have sex with men. Although there has been a recent review of sexual and reproductive clinical care for male adolescents in primary care settings , even this article acknowledged the relatively sparse literature focused on boys’ and young men’s sexual and reproductive health needs.
Saewyc, E. (2012). What about the boys? The importance of including boys and young men in sexual and reproductive health research. (editorial). Journal of Adolescent Health, 51, 1-2.
By Sania Ahmed on January 8, 2012