Having knowledge of puberty is important and, especially when you have children in the pubescent age, can be very helpful. This paper analyzes puberty by discussing its causes, physical effects in females and males, and the emotional effects experienced by both.
From birth, our bodies change daily. Puberty is the stage the body goes through to evolve to sexual maturity. Puberty is caused when the body is nearing sexual maturity and the body releases chemicals known as hormones. there are different types of hormones that affect the body differently. Stimulated growth hormones will cause the body to grow; the rate of this growth differs from person to person, some faster or slower than others. Estrogen and progesterone are produced when the brain and pituitary glands release hormones that stimulate the ovaries of females, while the male testicles produce testosterone. This is the beginning stage of puberty.
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For girls puberty can begin between the ages of nine to fourteen. The first noticeable changes that occur are breast development, and the beginning of pubic, armpit, and leg hair. The body becomes taller, growing in physical appearances Hips will begin to get rounder, arms longer, and feet larger; this will happen in spurts that will vary from child to child. An unfortunate side effect of puberty is acne, which also begins at this stage.
The menstruation cycle, commonly referred to as a women’s “period,” will soon begin; this can be a scary time for a child who is not aware of what will happen. Girls who have started menstruating have "monthly cycles." For the first few years, most girls’ menstrual cycles are very irregular. They are often unaware of when they will get their periods. This is normal. As the ovaries mature, the uterus also matures, and a soft lining begins to form in the uterus each month. This is how the uterus prepares itself to receive a fertilized egg. If there is no fertilized egg, the lining of the uterus will break down and will pass through the cervix and out of the vagina. This is menstruation or a menstrual period. Because the lining is made of blood vessels, discharge is called menstrual blood.
Puberty begins for boys between the ages of ten and seventeen. One of the first signs of puberty for boys is when the larynx lengthens and the voice breaks on its way to becoming deeper. Shoulders broaden, muscles strengthen, and boys start to grow facial, armpit, leg, and pubic hair at this time as well. Also, as for girls, acne can be present this time. A boy’s penis will begin to grow larger, and testicles will get bigger and hang lower; it is not uncommon for one to hang lower than the other. With the onset of puberty, the child will begin having erections more frequently. The penis filling with blood causes an erection. This usually happens when sexually excited, but boys can sometimes get erect for no reason at all. The latter are called spontaneous erections and are perfectly normal. Also, at one time or another, most boys have nocturnal emissions (wet dreams), when they ejaculate in their sleep and get a semen drip.
With puberty comes conflicts with parents, conflicts with siblings, concerns about peers and peer relationships, concerns about school and today’s world, and concerns about the adolescent’s physical safety. Identity is an overwhelming concern and can cause the child to rebel against their parents. Risk-taking behavior, rebelliousness, wasting time, mood swings, drug experimentation, problems in school and sexual activity can also occur at this time. Helping a child understand puberty can perhaps lighten some of the horrible and damaging side effects that it can cause the child when going through these changes. Parents must remember that soon their child will be a young man or a young woman.
Luckily today we have access to the information that can help our children and ourselves get through such painful yet necessary growing pains.
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