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Oral Sexual Experience Among Young Adolescents Receiving General Health Examinations

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Objective: To examine whether oral sex occurs among young adolescents receiving general health examinations and warrants inclusion in sexual risk assessments. Methods: Confidential, interviewer-assisted questionnaires completed by 12 to 15-year-olds (n=335). Results: Overall, 18% of adolescents reported having oral sex. Among adolescents who had oral sex, 25% reported no vaginal sex. Few adolescents reported using barrier protection during oral sex. Most adolescents thought that penile-vaginal sex (96%) and penile-anal sex (81%) can transmit HIV, but 68% thought that penile-mouth sex can transmit HIV. Conclusion: Unprotected oral sex among young adolescents warrants attention in research and clinical sexual assessment.

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: Department of Public and Community Health, University of Maryland, College Park, MD.

Publication date: July 1, 2002

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  • The American Journal of Health Behavior seeks to improve the quality of life through multidisciplinary health efforts in fostering a better understanding of the multidimensional nature of both individuals and social systems as they relate to health behaviors.

    The Journal aims to provide a comprehensive understanding of the impact of personal attributes, personality characteristics, behavior patterns, social structure, and processes on health maintenance, health restoration, and health improvement; to disseminate knowledge of holistic, multidisciplinary approaches to designing and implementing effective health programs; and to showcase health behavior analysis skills that have been proven to affect health improvement and recovery.

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