Teenage American Males: Growing Up with Risks; Men: The Scientific Truth; Scientific American Presents; by Sonenstein; 6 Page(s)
During their teenage years, most American boys develop into vigorous, healthy young men with few physical conditions requiring medical attention. Nevertheless, many of them engage in behaviors that may compromise their health, either during adolescence or later in life. Young men are much more likely than young women to have several sexual partners, to drink, to use marijuana, to drive recklessly and to engage in physically violent behavior-and they experience correspondingly higher death rates. As higher mortality and health problems have become more widely recognized, a growing number of health promotion initiatives have focused on male teenagers and the special risks they face, with the aim of guiding them toward changing the behaviors that make them vulnerable.
Death rates are low among both male and female teenagers, which attests to their general good health. Accidents and unintentional injuries, followed by homicides and suicides, account for the greatest number of deaths among all teens. This means that most deaths among teenagers are the result of their behavior rather than of disease or other natural causes.