This Week in Research: Deaf White Men, Teen Boys Talk Sex

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Odds are, you’re more deaf than you think you are. Johns Hopkins researchers looked at 7500 patients from 2001 to 2008, and concluded that one in five Americans has hearing loss in at least one ear; as many as one in eight were affected in both ears. This is the first study to examine hearing loss across the nation; previous, smaller studies had estimated that around 25 million Americans had some hearing loss. According to the new study, it’s actually more like 48 million. The group most likely to have hearing loss? White men.

Investigators at the Johns Hopkins Children’s Center think that we’re not paying enough attention to the sexual health of teen boys.  Whereas there are plenty of guidelines for what sorts of screenings, tests, and information teen girls should be getting, that information is lacking for teen boys. Meanwhile, primary-care pediatricians are three times more likely to ask girls about their sexual history, and twice as likely to talk about condom use with girls than boys. A related study found that boys with traditional beliefs about manhood are less likely to get preventative medical care. “We should send out the message that seeing a doctor is not a sign of weakness and encourage parents to talk with their sons about sexual health, especially as they grow older,” says pediatrician Arik Marcell.



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