Factors That Affect Individual Puberty Process in Teenagers

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Puberty is controlled by two main programs. The adrenal androgens produce pubic hair, skin changes, and body odor as one develops. The second, and most important, is called the HPG axis. It includes the hypothalamus, pituitary gland, gonads as a single entity. Puberty is kicked off by a three-stage reaction. Around the ages of 9-10 years, the pituitary gland is stimulated by the hypothalamic hormone. Then, the testes and ovaries secrete estrogen and testosterone. These two hormones are produced by both boys and girls. Estrogen is produced mainly by women. Testosterone is about eight times higher in boys after puberty than girls. This causes dramatic physical changes and psychological transformations.

These hormones target specific sites of the brain causing the teenager phase to be more emotional and sensitive. The physical changes are divided into three categories that include: primary sexual characteristics, secondary sexual characteristics, and growth spurts. The primary characteristics are changes to the body that directly affect reproduction. The secondary characteristics are the many changes to the body which accompany puberty. For example, pubic hair, breast development in females, beard growth and voice changes in males. Growth spurts are drastic increases in height and weight during puberty.

Everyone is on different puberty time tables. Genetics, along with proper nourishment can play an important role in growth development. The sex difference can cause anxiety concerning one's puberty time table. For example, “...In impoverished African countries-where children are poorly nourished-girls began to menstruate, on average, as late as age 16” (). A child’s reaction to puberty is completely dependent on the environment they are growing up in. Positive feelings will occur in a society where one is looked up to. Communication during puberty needs to be improved particularly with boys, who seem to enter into it head-on without much knowledge.

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Intense physical changes occur during puberty. Susan Harter found that being happy about one's body image seemed to be more important than anything else. “If we are happy with the way we look, we are likely to be happy with who we are as human beings” (). Body concerns have a larger impact on girls than boys. The impact of the media-driven idea that women need to be thin, known as the thin ideal, has an enormous impact on female teens. Three out of four female teens who had an average body mass index felt as if they were too fat ().

Eating disorders are obsessions with getting and staying thin. These tend to be problematic during the teenage years. On average, two out of five underweight girls wished to lose more weight. Boys can also be at risk if worried about weight and wanting to build muscle. The most serious disorder is anorexia nervosa, where an individual has a desire to lose weight by refusing to eat. They have abnormally low body weight and compulsively exercise. Another is bulimia nervosa, which is marked by binging and then purging the body in an attempt to lose weight.

Sexuality plays a big role in teenagers' development. They can make their own decisions on when and where to have intercourse. Sexual desires are triggered by adrenal androgens. Most teens have their first experience in a romantic relationship. Both male and female are mainly in love and being loved. Pregnancy rates in the United States are declining because of education at an earlier age and the availability of contraceptives.

Something that I found interesting is the thin ideal, which is the “ideally” slim female body. The way this woman is seen is by having a slender physique with a small waist and very little body fat. She is well below the average weight, while still being successful and happy. This body goal is unrealistic. The media has helped increase the rate of eating disorders due to promoting this appearance through models and magazines.

The young girls of our society learn that thinness obtains achievement and success, compared to obesity, which is often associated with social punishment and loneliness. Overexposure of this idea leads many women and girls to take the stereotype to heart. This can produce increased body dissatisfaction and depression. With the thin ideal becoming even thinner in recent years, many women have started a vicious cycle of restricting, purging and over-exercising.

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Factors That Affect Individual Puberty Process in Teenagers. (2021, January 12). WritingBros. Retrieved June 14, 2024, from https://writingbros.com/essay-examples/factors-that-affect-individual-puberty-process-in-teenagers/
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Factors That Affect Individual Puberty Process in Teenagers. [online]. Available at: <https://writingbros.com/essay-examples/factors-that-affect-individual-puberty-process-in-teenagers/> [Accessed 14 Jun. 2024].
Factors That Affect Individual Puberty Process in Teenagers [Internet]. WritingBros. 2021 Jan 12 [cited 2024 Jun 14]. Available from: https://writingbros.com/essay-examples/factors-that-affect-individual-puberty-process-in-teenagers/
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