Study: Teen boys see MD visits as weakness

Healthcare researchers already know that as boys become men, they visit the doctor less often, sometimes because of costs or lack of health insurance. Now, a new study suggests that problem is deeper than that. The study, by the Johns Hopkins Children's Center, suggests that 15- to 19-year-olds see visits to doctors as a sign of weakness. Researchers, who looked at data from 1,700 young men, also noted that the young men's parents may not be encouraging them to get annual exams either, though most mothers prompt their daughters to do so. Roughly half of the study group of young men responded positively to "macho" statements as "It is essential for a guy to get respect from others." These same young men were less likely to get regular examinations. But boys who spoke regularly to their folks about sexual issues--particularly their fathers--were more likely to seeing a physician. Even if these young men do make it in to get a checkup, however, few doctors talk to boys about such critical health issues as birth control and STDs, researchers found.

To get more information on the study:
- read this piece from The Washington Post

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