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.

March Speaking Events

I’ve just finished the last of 5 March speaking events that took me across the country: The Women, Gender & Sexuality Studies Program at Boston University, the CDC National STD Prevention Conference (in Minneapolis this year), the “Consider This” speaker’s series, hosted by Planned Parenthood Orange and San Bernardino Counties, Friday’s at Newcomb at Tulane University, and finally a panel on “Sexual Socialization in the 21st Century” at the meetings of the Southern Sociological Society in New Orleans.  I spoke before young people, parents, health policy makers, professionals, and researchers.  Despite their differences, they raised many of the same issues: especially the question of how —  as parents, educators, and providers — they can provide young people with an image of healthy sexual and emotional development, when so many forces work in the opposite direction.  One theme that kept coming back was the importance of giving more attention and support to the emotional and relational development of boys and young men than we typically do in our scholarship, healthcare, and popular culture (see also earlier post on the “hearts of boys.”)

Interview on the Takeaway

Today is Not Under My Roof’s official publication date and I was interviewed on NPR’s “The Takeaway” this morning.  Here you can listen to my conversation with hosts John Celeste Headlee and John Hockenberry and to the story of one family, dealing with sex and teenagers.

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.”

To read more

The Conversation

Ross Reynolds, host of The Conversation (at the Seattle, WA-based KUOW.org at 94.9 fm) interviewed me about my upcoming book, Not Under My Roof: Parents, Teens, and the Culture of Sex, and the New York Times oped on the Sleepover Question. Listeners can call in to give their opinions.  If you want to continue the conversation after the show, please post a comment.



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