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Puberty is considered as a period in life between childhood and adulthood when secondary sexual characters are formed and the child grows rapidly. Puberty in boys and girls is absolutely different. Puberty in boys and girls begins at different times, proceeds differently and is perceived by children absolutely differently. For example, girls’ early puberty is a quite frequent phenomenon whereas boys’ puberty delay is more usual. Both boys’ and girls’ puberty lasts about five years. The time of the beginning of puberty is very individual and can vary from person to person.

The period of puberty for the vast majority of girls begins from ten to twelve years old and approximately in two years after that the process of menstruation begins. However, puberty of many girls can begin at the age of nine or twelve years old. It can also begin very early (at the age of seven to eight years old) or late (at the age of thirteen to fourteen or even fifteen years old) at healthy and normally developing girls but this happens quite seldom. The late or early period of puberty described above is not connected with abnormal functioning of sexual glands, and it often appears that the mother or the grandmother also had earlier or later menstruation in comparison with their contemporaries.

At the beginning of puberty, first of all, the growth strengthening is evident. If the girl grows at the age of seven to eight years old, adding, on the average, five to six cm a year, at the age of nine, this growth is a little slowed down (on the average, three to three and a half centimeters a year), however, at the age of eleven it amplifies unexpectedly quickly and in the next two years it reaches seven to eight centimeters. Parents notice and are quite often surprised by how quickly the child’s clothes and footwear become small during this period. Instead of the average annual addition in weight two and a half to three and a half kilograms, during this period the indicators reach four to nine kilograms. Together with the fast increase in weight, increased appetite also amplifies.

The emergence of the primary and secondary sexual characters characteristic of a female organism gradually become evident. At the age of nine, the noticeable increase in the sizes of a pelvis and hips begins. Soon after that (on the average at the age of ten) mammary glands increase, and the girl starts wearing a bra. “The peripapillary circle of mammary glands becomes wider, and papillas bulk up”. Gradually, the breast starts its formation and assimilation to a breast of the mature woman.

Chest glands take more or less expressed cone-shaped form for a year and a half and a bit later — during the menstruation emergence — a hemispherical form. Then (at the age of eleven to twelve) the sexual (pudental) area becomes covered by hair, and the external genitals (small and big pudental labia) increase in size. A little later, hair in armpits starts growing. The waist typical for a young woman is formed.

The top point of all these changes is the menstruation, which remains unsteady both concerning rhythm, force and bleeding duration within the first months and even within the first two years. From the moment of the menstruation emergence (on the average at the age of thirteen) the growth rate quickly decreases and varies from one and a half to two and a half centimeters a year.

Gradually, “the puberty period comes to an end — the pelvic area is rounded and accepts its final form, the area of armpits becomes covered with hair”, the menstruation is monthly rhythmically observed and the growth of bones stops.

The menstruation emergence is very often a dramatic situation in the life of a girl so this moment can become a reason for many experiences and alarms in case of insufficient preliminary medical explanation. It is the mother’s or school doctor’s responsibility to explain the peculiarities of the emergence of such a physiological phenomenon as puberty in a suitable form. It is better to do it in time, at the very beginning of this natural and normal physiological phenomenon, which can seem unusual and strange at the first sight.

All above mentioned changes, characterizing puberty of girls, are caused by the influence of blood vessel glands (hypophysis, ovary, adrenal glands) and changes of the central nervous system. The estrogen allocated by the ovary as well as the androgens allocated by adrenal glands mostly take part in the regulation of sexual development of girls. Estrogen regulates the development of chest (dairy) glands, pelvis, small pudental labia, vaginas and uterus as well as it influences the subcutis distribution in different parts of a body and the registration of a sexual inclination. Estrogen in interaction with other hormones leads to a full maturing of an ovum in ovary.

The androgens, playing another key role at girls’ hormonal cascade, cause the emergence of indumentum in a sexual area and armpits, the development of big pudental labia and sebaceous glands of a skin, which can be connected with the appearance of juvenile spots (acne), which are typical for the puberty period.

The first menstruation usually appears at the age of thirteen, but in the first two years it shows different deviations, which are not abnormal and are estimated as fluctuations in a physiological development. First of all, the regularity of a two-phase cycle of the menstruation can be broken. In most cases, the initial stage of maturing of primary ova does not reach the end, and mature ova do not separate from an ovary; the corpus luteum is either not formed at all or underdeveloped and does not lead to the increase of the progesterone maintenance in blood. In these cases, the mucous membrane of the uterus in the first phase of the menstrual cycle under the influence of estrogen expands strenuously; therefore, unpleasant and long uterine bleeding (so-called juvenile bleeding) can take place. Similar physiological bleedings are observed at this age at 5 — 10% of all girls, and the reasons can be different. In some cases, the menstruation can appear not monthly but with an interval in two to three months.

Other physiological deviations in menstruation regularity can occur during the puberty, but they usually disappear in the first years after the end of this period.

The boys’ puberty begins approximately two years later than the girls’, however, not earlier than at the age of eleven (the cases of earlier beginning are extremely rare). The period of puberty of many boys comes at the age of twelve to fifteen years old. The maximum growth rate of the boys is observed approximately at the age of fourteen — moreover, from thirteen to fifteen years they grow on the average by ten centimeters in a year. They also quickly add in weight. If they increased in weight annually on the average by two kilograms earlier, during the puberty their weight increases by four to five kilograms and more. At the age of ten to eleven, the penis and testicle (small testes) start growing. At the age of twelve to thirteen, there is a visible increase in Adam’s apple being on a neck under a chin as well as there is an indumentum in the sexual area. Genitals continue to increase in sizes (a penis, ovary, and scrotum). At the age of fourteen to sixteen, the beard and moustaches start growing, hair appears in armpits, chest glands increase slightly, the voice changes (it is mutated), it becomes more courageous and rough, as well as the first spontaneous ejaculations during a dream take place. In a final phase of puberty at the age of sixteen to eighteen, the hair covering of a body, a sexual area and a face (moustaches and a beard), typical for a man, comes to the end.  Mature spermatozoa appear in seminal fluid; spots often appear on face skin. The growth gradually slows down and stops. During the puberty, “boys have a number of difficulties — various physiological deviations which deserve a special attention”. Early puberty emergence quite often causes excitements and concern in an unprepared and insufficiently informed child as well as his parents. Late puberty also brings depression in the behavior of a young man who sees that his contemporaries have already grown up and matured. Timely sexual education, carried out in the corresponding form, protects a younger generation from excessive and disturbing worries.

The described above changes in the physical status of a young man are accompanied by serious changes in psychology. Rough experiences – shyness, concerning defects of appearance (spots, for example) are typical for this age. According to Wexner Medical Center (2012), “the girl’s remark concerning a smell of sweat can develop into a depression”.

“Adolescents either fall into despair and want nobody to see or snuggle up to their parents as small children”. Sexual desires, which young people are not able to cope with, appear. They choose for themselves other figures – attractive objects of the opposite sex, usually TV or movie stars. The attention gradually turns into the girls from the immediate environment – schoolmates, neighbors, and friends.

Other psychological problem is an understanding of adolescent’s independence and, as a result, fights for freedom from parents’ care. Fathers and mothers often happen not ready to protest and, consequently, follow his/her tastes, being afraid to bring severity to the child. It is necessary to remember that rough demonstrations, as a rule, hide a desperate fear of responsibility before this freedom.

So, adolescents are no more children, but also not adults yet. The increase of secretion of sexual hormones causes the raised emotionality of adolescents, as well as character changes. During the puberty, many features inherent in the specific personality are formed, the ability to supervise the behavior, the ability to control himself/herself, his/her acts and mood are developed, moral qualities of a person, and his/her commitment are formed. The relations between boys and girls change: the great interest of one sex is shown to another; there is a desire to be pleasant, loving and to love themselves. The most reasonable thing to do for parents is to let an adolescent know that they consider him/her equal, an adult partner and they want the same suspension from them. The parents should not panick and discuss a situation with the child quietly and deliberately.

Code: Sample20

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