Puberty is known to be the transitioning period for children to become emerging adults. Puberty is important because not only is it a sign for parents that their child is growing up. It is a sign for the child itself that he or she is growing up. Puberty is different for both boys and girls especially the biological events that take place.
When girls go through puberty, they go through it at an earlier age than the boys. Girls start at the age of eight to the age of 14. What happens first for girls is the breast development. Breast buds typically occur around nine or ten years old, although sometimes for some children they occur earlier or for others they occur later. The girls’ parents are often surprised that their daughter has breast buds since the breast develop slowly and occur at different times. At the beginning of puberty, sometimes one breast often appears first than the other. According to, Dr. Suzanne Boulter, a pediatrician and adolescent-medicine specialist in Concord, New Hampshire, states, “Many mistake them for a cyst, a tumor or an abscess.” The girl may believe that something in the breast is wrong like gaining a tumor, especially since the tissue of the breast can feel very sore and sensitive, but this because the breast are developing slowly at a decent rate which is extremely normal.
The second sign of puberty is gaining pubic hair in the genital area. At first, there are very few hairs and come out straight and soft. As the girl grows up, the pubic hair grows out and becomes dark, curly, and coarse. The pubic hair grows gently to the lower stomach to the inner thigh, looking like in a three-cornered shape. About another couple years, hair begins to grow in the armpits.
The third sign for puberty is that the girls gain weight which gives them a more rounded belly. This gives girls extreme anxiety because they believe they are gaining weight but usually it is adipose tissue. Adipose tissue is the tissue where fat is kept. The body will separate the fat from the stomach and waist to other parts of the body so it can create a nice figure.
The last is usually the menstrual cycle. There are many myths when it comes to menstruation like you cannot use a tampon till you are a full adult, or you cannot swim in the pool and so on. Menarche or menstruation is when ovulation is beginning which means that you can begin to be able to be pregnant. In a study in 1982, the researchers Brooks- Gunn and Ruble, reported that girls feel more grown up now that they are finally menstruating. A longitudinal study in 2003 reported that there is an increase in self-esteem and social maturity.
Boys go through puberty much later than girls which are the ages of twelve to sixteen. The first step of puberty for boys is that the boy is going through with maturing is when the size of the testicles and the scrotal sac grows. As the testicles grows, the scrotum skin darkens, expands, thins, and lastly hangs down. Like girls and each breast size, boys when it comes to their testicles, one testicle hangs lower than the other.
Like girls the next step of puberty for boys is the pubic hair. Similar to girls, the pubic hair changes to a darker color, the hairs become curlier and rougher in texture, but the pattern is more of a diamond shaped than a triangle. Over the next few years it covers the pubic region, and then covers the thighs like a girl would have her pubic hair covered. Difference between boys and girls pubic hair is that boys have their pubic hair going up to their belly button. Then light or thin little hairs grows on a boy’s face, legs, arms and underarms, and chest.
The third step of puberty is the body shape changes. Before puberty, usually boys look chubby and lanky. The boys then have a growth spurt as they go into puberty. Body proportions change during this spurt, which are the legs extend and the trunks become bigger. Boys then gain muscle mass and continue to grow even after girls are finished with puberty.
When the boys are at the top of puberty, their voices begin to change drastically. For a brief period of time, the boys voice may break once in a while as it deepens. Once the larynx or the vocal box reaches to a suitable size, the cracking will stop.
J.M. Tanners Longitudinal research on Pubertal Development helped greatly to understand puberty. In the year 1960 through the 1970s J.M. Tanner, a British biologist, was studying physical development. He took many pictures and physical evaluations of both boys and girls throughout their lives to figure out the steps of puberty. From each photo and physical evaluation, Tanner figured out the ages of the changes that happened to the children.
A good theory when it comes to puberty would be Storm and Stress by G. Stanley Hall. This is a great example because as the child grows up, he or she becomes a different person. To go deeper, Storm and Stress goes through difficulties with parents, risky behaviors, and drastic mood swings. This all happens because of the hormones, like estrogen and testosterone, which the children are gaining as they are going through the process of puberty.
Puberty is different for everyone. Sometimes puberty comes early or late for either gender. It affects them differently emotionally, and physically. The one fact is true for either gender is that it is a period for the child or adolescence to mature and to find more of themselves to become a great and fitting adult in society.


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