Examining the development and sexual behavior of adolescent males

J Adolesc Health. 2010 Apr;46(4 Suppl):S3-11. doi: 10.1016/j.jadohealth.2010.01.017.


A careful examination of young men's sexuality by health professionals in pediatrics, primary care, and reproductive health is foundational to adolescent male sexual health and healthy development. Through a review of existing published data, this article provides background and a developmental framework for sexual health services for adolescent boys. The article first defines and provides an overview of adolescent boys' sexual health, and then discusses developmentally focused research on the following topics: (1) early romantic relationships and the evolution of power and influence within these relationships; (2) developmental "readiness" for sex and curiosity; (3) boys' need for closeness and intimacy; (4) adopting codes of masculinity; (5) boys' communicating about sex; and (6) contextual influences from peers, families, and providers. This article concludes by examining the implications of these data for sexual health promotion efforts for adolescent males, including human papillomavirus vaccination.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adolescent Behavior / physiology*
  • Adolescent Behavior / psychology
  • Adolescent Development / physiology*
  • Communication
  • Family / psychology
  • Gender Identity
  • Health Personnel
  • Humans
  • Interpersonal Relations
  • Male
  • Mass Media
  • Peer Group
  • Public Health
  • Sexual Behavior / physiology*
  • Sexual Behavior / psychology