Phil B.FontanarosaMD, Interim CoeditorIndividualAuthorMargaret A.WinkerMD, Deputy EditorIndividualAuthorStephenLurieMD PhD, Fishbein FellowIndividualAuthor
To the Editor: Dr Sanders and Reinisch1 have provided a much-needed service with the publication
of their article to all of us who provide primary care to the adolescent and
young adult population.
As a pediatrician, when I ask an adolescent if he or she is sexually
active, it is imperative that both the patient and I are talking the same
language. If "sexually active" to the patient only means penile-vaginal intercourse,
while to me it may encompass a much larger set of physical intimacies, then
the patient and I may miss an important opportunity to discuss issues such
as birth control, prevention of sexually transmitted diseases (which are also
transmitted through acts other than intercourse), and intimacy and relationships
in general. Realizing that I now need to ask about specific physical acts,
rather than general activity, can only enhance my potential to have a positive
impact through counseling.
Berkowitz ST. Attitudes Toward and Definitions of Having Sex. JAMA. 1999;282(20):1916-1919. doi:10-1001/pubs.JAMA-ISSN-0098-7484-282-20-jbk1124