Statistics from Altmetric.com
If you wish to reuse any or all of this article please use the link below which will take you to the Copyright Clearance Center’s RightsLink service. You will be able to get a quick price and instant permission to reuse the content in many different ways.
When you were an adolescent would you have opted to have your genitalia examined by a doctor of your own sex or of the opposite sex? It seems to me that most of us would have preferred a doctor of our own sex simply to save ourselves from potential embarrassment. A study in Kansas City, however, has suggested the opposite (Christopher J Van Ness and Daryl A Lynch.Archives of Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine. 2000;154:49–53). They asked 81 male adolescents (aged 10–18) attending a hospital adolescent clinic to complete a questionnaire and 67 did so. More of the respondents indicated a preference for female doctors than for male doctors, both for general examination (51%v 39%) and for genital examination (49%v 39%). [The American Cancer Society recommends that male adolescents should examine their own genitalia monthly and be examined by a doctor annually as a screen for testicular cancer.] The preference for a woman doctor was greater in African American respondents, almost two thirds of whom had been raised by a single female parent, relative, or guardian. These authors warn against accepting their findings at face value because of small numbers and a low response rate. Do people, especially adolescents, always answer questionnaires in a perfectly straightforward and truthful manner? Could adolescent iconoclasm and tongue-in-cheek humour have an effect? Or is that just too cynical?