Adolescent females' preferences regarding use of a chaperone during a pelvic examination. Observations from a private-practice setting

J Adolesc Health Care. 1986 Nov;7(6):409-11. doi: 10.1016/s0197-0070(86)80244-3.


This study used a private-practice model to investigate teenagers' preferences regarding the presence of chaperones during the genitalia examination. One hundred adolescent female patients were asked to fill out a questionnaire listing their chaperone preference during the pelvic examination. During early adolescence (13-14 years), 60% of the adolescents preferred to be alone if they knew the male physician and 80% if they knew the female physician. Of those in midadolescence (15-17 years), 73% preferred to be alone with a known male physician and 79% with a known female physician. After age 19 years, 79% preferred to be alone either with a male or female physician, whom they knew. These data suggest that the sex of the physician makes little difference as to the mid- and late adolescent female's preference for a chaperone. Also, there seems to be a trend toward increased preference for the presence of a female nurse, and decreased preference for the mother's presence, with increasing age.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Age Factors
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Pelvis*
  • Physical Examination*
  • Physician-Patient Relations
  • Private Practice
  • Psychology, Adolescent*