Counseling Adolescents on Sexual Health

In the Q&A following my plenary address at the annual meeting of AASECT (The American Association of Sexuality Educators, Counselors and Therapists) in Austin, Texas, yesterday, a member of the audience talked about counseling adolescents about sexual health.  He is a physician and realized that short of asking his teenage patients whether they use condoms when they have sex, he was at a loss for the language to talk about sexual health.  Many physicians with whom I have worked have raised the issue of a lack of a “script” to talk with adolescents about sexuality in a more positive and comprehensive fashion.  I have collaborated with my colleagues in medicine to create an educational module for clinicians that discusses the practical applications of the ABCD model for adolescent sexual health.  The module: “Beyond Abstinence and Risk: A New Paradigm for Adolescent Sexuality” can be downloaded here.  Other articles on the New ABCDs can be found here.

The Healthy Teen Network Conference


Tomorrow I leave for the Healthy Teen Network Conference in Pittsburgh, PA: Lots of great workshops and plenaries, including by Elizabeth Schroeder (Answer), Richard Garland (One Vision, One Life), and Ernestine Heldring (Scenarios USA). The HTN conference is also hosting a “From Pop to Hip Hop” art exhibition/performance at the Andy Warhol Museum.

Together with Veenod Chulani (MD), I’ll be leading a workshop for educators and providers on exploring the new ABCD’s of adolescent sexuality.  I’ll also be doing a book reading and signing for Not Under My Roof.  Today, the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review ran an article on my research and conference participation, quoting Pat Paluzzi, CEO of the Healthy Teen Network:

“[The] book is very relevant to the national conversation we should be having in this country,” said Paluzzi. “We have a very schizophrenic view of sex. … It’s everywhere, yet we don’t like to talk about it, especially if it’s involving kids.”

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Amy Schalet is Associate Professor of Sociology at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. Read More...