A group of doctors has urged people to speak to their teenage and adolescent children about being involved in romantic relationships. They say that it's important to talk to them about healthy sexual relationships and showing mutual respect towards each other. “Our aim is to give the healthcare provider a guide on how to approach adolescents and educate them on the importance of relationships that promote their overall wellbeing,” said Dr. Oluyemisi Adeyemi-Fowode of Texas Children’s Hospital.
“We want to recognize the full spectrum of relationships and that not all adolescents are involved in sexual relationships,” she said in an email. “This acknowledges the sexual and non-sexual aspects of relationships.” “As individuals, our days include constant interaction with other people,” Adeyemi-Fowode said. “Learning how to effectively communicate is essential to these exchanges, and it is a skill that we begin to develop very early in life.”
“Without intentionally talking to them about respectful, equitable relationships, we’re leaving them to fend for themselves,” said Dr. Elizabeth Miller. “More than 20 years of research shows the impact of abusive relationships on young people’s health,” Miller said. “Unintended pregnancies, sexually-transmitted infections, HIV, depression, anxiety, suicide, disordered eating and substance abuse can stem from this.”