Stories about: Sexuality

Should middle schools give out condoms?

Starting this fall, the public schools in Springfield, Massachusetts will be making condoms available to both high school and middle school students—that means to kids as young as 12. I was asked to go on New England Cable News to give my opinion on it (video below), so I did some researching and serious thinking about it.

I think it’s the right thing to do. 

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Studies explore gender identity and children

The journal Pediatrics released two studies this week that focused on the mental and physical wellbeing of children who don’t conform to typical gender roles.

The first study, led by Children’s Hospital Boston researcher S. Bryn Austin, ScD, indicates that kids who fail to adapt traditional gender stereotypes as children are at a significantly greater risk for physical, sexual and psychological abuse during childhood. These children are also more likely to develop post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) in young adulthood.

The study was funded by the National Institute of Health and compiled data from almost 9,000 young adults. Participants were asked to recall their childhood experiences, including their favorite toys and games growing up. The types of charters they related to as children, which roles they adopted during pretend play and their earliest understanding of masculinity and femininity where all reported on as well. Researchers also asked participants to disclose information about any physical, sexual or emotional abuse they experienced at the hands of parents, other adults or older children. Finally, participants were screened for PSTD.

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Fact or fiction: Today’s teenagers are more wild than ever

For decades, teenagers have gotten a pretty bad rap from the generations that came before them. The clothes, hairstyles and music may change, but the age-old notion of teenagers being wilder than ever before predates anyone old enough to have the thought. Complaining about wayward teens may be a parental cliché, but that’s only because it’s true, right?

Not so fast parents: According to a new study at the University of Michigan, today’s kids are actually a little more conservative than many of you were at their age.

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HPV vaccination recommended for boys

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has approved recommendations for routine vaccination of males ages 11 and 12 against the Human papillomavirus (HPV.)

The HPV vaccine provide males with protection against certain HPV-related conditions and may also provide indirect protection of women by reducing transmission of HPV. Our own Dr. Claire was recently interviewed by New England Cable News to discuss the CDC’s new recommendation.

For more information on HPV and its vaccination, here’s a Q and A with Lydia Shrier, MD, MPH, of Children’s Hospital Boston’s Division of Adolescent Medicine.

What is HPV?

HPV stands for Human papillomavirus. There are more than 100 types of HPV, of which more than 30 are transmitted sexually—those are the ones most people are referencing when talking about HPV—and they can be separated into two types: low risk and high risk. Both can result in some form of genital disease, with the low risk-types typically leading to genital warts and minor abnormalities in the cells of the cervix. The high-risk types can lead to several forms of genital cancer, including cervical cancer.

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