Adolescent male sexuality.
Adolescence is a transition period between childhood and adulthood. During this time, the body develops into an adult and reproductively mature body. For many adolescents, it is the time of completion of high school, finding first jobs, leaving home, and beginning college. It is a stage to discover and establish an identity independent of the family. It is a time of exploration of romantic relationships, including the initiation of sexual relations. All adolescents are sexual beings whether they are sexually active or not. Adolescents are often sexually active—a fact supported by data from many developed countries. Most adolescent males have their first sexual experience during their teenage years. Health care providers are not always comfortable addressing their sexual activity, however. Only one third of adolescent males report talking with their clinician about a reproductive health topic. It is essential for health care providers caring for adolescents to understand male sexuality during the teenage period. This article provides an overview of heterosexual adolescent male sexuality. Another article in this issue gives an overview of gay, bisexual, and questioning youth. (author's)