Adolescent sexuality has undergone many changes, with adolescents now reaching physical maturity earlier, and a number of guidelines exist to help the clinician deal with adolescent sexuality.
After completing this article, readers should be able to:
Adolescence is a transitional stage of physical, emotional, and cognitive human development occurring before the onset of puberty and ending by adulthood. Sexuality, the expression of interest, orientation, and preference, is a normal part of adolescence. Adolescent sexuality encompasses multiple factors, such as developing intimate partnerships, gender identity, sexual orientation, religion, and culture.
Adolescent sexuality has changed over the past 50 years, with adolescents now reaching physical maturity earlier and marrying later. Puberty marks the obvious physical development in early to middle adolescence and is seen as the time for potential onset of sexual thoughts and experimentation. On average, middle adolescence is a time when teens begin to be interested in more intimate relationships...