Sexual function, sexual abuse and sexually transmitted diseases in adolescence

Best Pract Res Clin Obstet Gynaecol. 2003 Feb;17(1):103-16. doi: 10.1053/ybeog.2003.0351.


As adolescents progress through puberty, many biological changes occur and, for young women, this includes the onset of menses and the capability for reproduction. During this time, sexual identity is developed and expressions of sexuality become more frequent. Adolescent women engage in a variety of sexual behaviours, both non-coital and coital. As teens begin dating relationships, they are at risk for dating violence and sexual abuse. Some may even be raped after sedation with a 'date rape' drug. As adolescents attempt to develop intimate sexual relationships, they may be at high risk for health consequences associated with sexual activity, such as pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases (STDs). Providers, such as physicians, nurse practitioners, physician assistants and nurses, must know current STD diagnosis and treatment recommendations to decrease morbidity caused by these infections. By knowing how to interview, understanding legal issues and anticipating concerns pertinent to teens, providers have the opportunity to decrease barriers to health care for adolescents.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adolescent Behavior*
  • Child Abuse, Sexual / statistics & numerical data*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Sexual Behavior / statistics & numerical data*
  • Sexually Transmitted Diseases / diagnosis
  • Sexually Transmitted Diseases / epidemiology*
  • Sexually Transmitted Diseases / therapy