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OBA van den Akker, J Andre, S Lees, T Murphy
British Journal of Midwifery, Vol. 7, Iss. 12, 02 Dec 1999, pp 765 - 769

This study aimed to determine whether sexual knowledge, feelings and behaviour differed between male and female adolescents. It was anticipated that there may be a culturally determined gender difference influencing adolescent boys’ and girls’ approaches to sex in the UK. This could have major implications for midwives in their roles as health promoters, sex educators, and for those providing contraceptive and pregnancy services. Two hundred and twelve, 11 to 19 year olds were recruited. Girls' empowerment in sexual matters was significantly more sophisticated than that found in boys. Differences between genders are important, and need to be considered when targeting sex education and interventions, in attempts to prevent unwanted teenage pregnancy. All health care providers, in touch with adolescents, would benefit from a gender specific tailored approach to advising, educating and supporting adolescents.

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