Before adolescent medicine was made into its own branch, adolescents were seen by the pediatric doctor or with one of their parents’ doctor. They were always accompanied by an adult and therefore did not always get the help they needed. Their views and questions were not taken in to account as much as their parents’ questions and concerns. Some teens may not want to ask certain questions in front of their parents or they may not admit to being sexually active in front of their parents. In 1951 when the first hospital was created for adolescents, these types of issues started to change. Teens could go to their doctor on their own and could discuss what they wanted to discuss (Adolescent Medicine). This changed many issues with teens. For example teen pregnancy was very common a long time ago because women’s first job was to be a mother. Also there were not many contraceptives so once girls had their first menstrual cycle they would soon get pregnant and get married or the other way around. Regardless it was not surprising for there to be teen mothers. I believe that once there was a branch of medicine that was specifically for teens that it changed the outlook of teen pregnancy. Society soon started to change where they thought it necessary to complete more years of schooling in order to be self-sufficient. There were studies done that showed that teen mothers were more likely to face poverty and need government help (“The History of Outcomes Research in Adolescent Pregnancy). It also showed that when girls became present at a young age that they would end up with more children, economic problems and sometimes even marital problems. I think that adolescent medicine gave teens a place where they could talk to their doctor alone about having sex and how to prevent pregnancy. It was somewhere that they could go with questions and without feeling embarrassed about asking in front of their parents. Society started to change a little bit more in that teen pregnancy isn’t acceptable and can be prevented. Obviously people have very different opinions on this issue and society has fluctuated over time; but I think everyone can agree that pregnancy can be prevented and that it would make life easier on teens if they waited before having sex or practiced safe sex in which they were less likely to get pregnant and have economic issues. I think that the addition of adolescent medicine provided great information and help to adolescents back when it was first created and still today.
Teen Issues February 1, 2011