Male adolescent sexual behavior, the forgotten partner: a review.
Investigations of adolescent sexual behavior indicate that the number of teenagers engaging in sexual activity at young ages (15 years) is increasing. The authors undertook a computerized literature search on the topics of sexual activity among male adolescents, their contraceptive use, and their knowledge of human reproduction and birth control methods. With the exception of fragmentary survey data, pertinent information about male adolescent sexual activity is virtually nonexistent. The majority of knowledge, attitude, and practice studies focus on the adolescent female. However, there appears to be a growing realization that the adolescent male's knowledge of and active involvement in family planning is appropriate and desirable. Although methods used by males (condoms and withdrawal) are estimated to account for half of adolescent contraceptive use, there is a similar lack of research on the adolescent male's contraceptive behavior. Adolescent knowledge of reproduction and pregnancy prevention is considered to be poor. This suggests that educators and policy makers should evaluate the relevance and effectiveness of existing sex education courses. It is also urged that the forgotten partner--the adolescent male--be included in future empirical studies of sexual behavior.