Article

Female Body Development

Puberty is the most confusing time during the span of life that many individuals experience. The body is doing one thing, the mind is going another direction, and what actions come from the person do not coincide with what is happening to them. It is the equivalent of being put into a hormonal and physical blender.

The female body begins to go through puberty at an earlier time than their male counterparts. Typically females begin to develop around eleven to thirteen years of age but some girls can begin as early as eight and some do not begin to mature until their mid-teens. Changes, once they begin, continue for a number of years and sometimes do not stop until early twenties. The body is constantly in a process of change as we age, but this is the most drastic and rapid time of change during the life cycle.

Physically, the body begins to change shape. A growth spurt happens and the person gets dramatically taller in a short time. A few growth spurts may occur but generally females are done getting taller by their late teenage years. After a growth spurt teens who are developing tend to look painfully ‘stretched out’ while their body is fighting to come into its adultlike proportions at an uneven rate. The shape of the face and facial features change, as the roundness of a childlike face give way to a more structured appearance. Jawbones become prominent and the face as a whole has a different look, usually due to this change. Hair begins to grow in the armpit and pubic regions of the body. Sweating increases in these areas in response to the hormonal changes, and at this point hygiene becomes an important focus of the daily regimen. Females will begin to shave body hair and use deodorant and other scented toiletries. Acne is another side effect of hormonal changes, and can sometimes become a severe problem requiring treatment. Eventually, the problem with acne will subside after the teen years are over. Other changes include breast development and the beginning of menstruation. As these particular changes occur, the body wil begin to fill in and a thin gangly look becomes a curvy figure.Some females have problems in these areas and might require the assistance of a doctor due to hormone irregularities. Weight gain may become a concern, being if the teen is too heavy or too thin. A little girl is transitioning into a young woman at this point and the myriad of changes can be overwhelming and complicated.

Chemicals in the brain cause all of these changes but do not govern how the person experiencing them should react or feel. Many girls become highly emotional. Hence, the urban legend about the scary fifteen year old who is unruly and into trouble with the law, but also cries and screams. Truthfully, the myriad of emotions that pour over any teen are novel and difficult to deal with. The typical teenage girl may cry about something small but half an hour later be fighting a heated battle with a sibling as if whatever was wrong in the first place never happened. This can be a vicious cycle: excess hormones can set off an emotional reaction that leads to another rush of hormones, which can lead to another. The behaviors manifested in the mind of a developing female can be a mystery even to her. She will not understand her actions, her reactions, or even her personal thoughts. Some teens may become depressed, some may abuse substances or drink. Parents must monitor their children carefully but also allow some of the freedoms that a teen is seeking in relation to their bodily changes. Also, the teen must be aware that just because their body is becoming adultlike does not mean that they are legally an adult. The inverse of this is true: certain issues that were not a problem before can now have dire consequences. Pregnancy and criminal prosecution are lucrative possibilites now to a misbehaving teen. Sometimes the teen feels pressure to fit into the group where this was never a problem before. The flip side of this is wanting to be an individual and being different from everyone else. If it is wanting to go to a party because everyone else will be there or dyeing hair blue because no one else has blue hair, these needs can strain the parental bond with the developing teen. Parents at this point are just as confused as the teen might be but with some wisdom because they have already lived this transition in life. Sometimes, they just forget they have.

In relation to others, friendships can take on a dimension that family ties once had. It is vital to most teens to have a close group of friends to ride through life changes with. Fellow teens can take on the role of the comforter and seem more apt to understand what the other one is going through. At this time, parents take on the role of the outsider to a teenager and this causes strife. Interest in relationships develops also, and sexuality begins to become a prime focus. Whereas males or other females might not have been so interesting before, now a developing female might spend much time grooming and searching out a date. Dating can be an interesting experience, but turbulence and hurt can also be the end result as hormones keep emotions in turmoil in relationships. Self image at this point in life is crucial and a prime focus. Sex and sexual desire can complicate relationships and create for intense emotional experiences that the teen might not be equipped to deal with if experienced at the wrong time in the developmental cycle.

Eventually, all of this bodily chaos culminates into a mature adult who is more emotionally stable and hopefully wiser. Appearances have changed but the person is still essentially the same. Experiences, both good and bad, have permanently shaped them for the rest of the life span and prepared them for the next steps of the life cycle: the acquisition of a mate and the development of a career and family. Oddly, those same crazy hormones still flood through the body but time hass allowed everything to fit into a precise, calmer cycle for the duration. A teenage girl might not understand in her twenties what she was going through at fourteen, but good or bad it was necessary to enable her to the present.


Comments (6 comments)

reading about puberty is dis apointing becaus i got my period in the third gard at the end of the year and i told my friend and she was all like eww why did it come so early and i was mad cause i told her that you can get it as early as 8 and she didnt belive me

alexus / April 30th, 2008, 6:01 am / #

reading about this helped in some situatuions but notall.

Lexi / April 24th, 2009, 1:35 am / #

reading this helped a lot. i was really worried because i am really curvy and tall. and its really hard to b curvy cuase my guys friends are like, “wanna get laid?” they’re all jerks.

abby / May 17th, 2009, 12:23 pm / #

i started when i was thirteen and it was a very difficult time for me. I was my dad’s first child and my mom’s first daughter. My father didn’t know what to do but yell and hit me, my mom just tried to talk me through things but i pushed her away. im 16 now and still feeling the pms and all the “lovely” attachments as well. Sex.. that’s a whole different ball game. It’s more then just sticking a males genitals in yours, it’s about emotion, feeling, and well.. love. Love can take different shapes and forms when your a teen because you think you know everything and feel invincible. Life is tricky, you need to read between the lines and know when to be serious and when it’s okay to relax.

jessica / November 3rd, 2009, 9:04 am / #

i started when i was 12 and when i told my mom she just told me to get some pads out of her bathroo.. My mom isnt very compassionate towards me since im older(now 15) and have a boyfriend. She thinks Ill have sex and never gives me trust. So the emotions are extreme these days. I just wish she would trust me i mean i use protection when i have sex and me and the guy have been datinf for two years and we have only done it twice. I dont see why she doesnt trust me but whatever the reason i just wanna be trusted.and i dont tell her things because she doesnt trust me and really its all her fault because i feel as if she will take things out of hand… But all girls are going to go through hard times and i hope your parents are very social and involved in your life cause not having any body to talk to that has been throught what you are going throught SUCKS!! so i just wanna say try to tell your mom everything so she can be involved in your life. cause when she isnt its hard to understand anything going on in your body

Crystal / May 8th, 2010, 6:46 am / #

Respected Sir/ Madam

I am 18 years old girl but my body is weak and tallest, and my breast is flat not growing so what can I di or what suitable medicine for it please inform me about it

Thanking You

imtiyaz / June 14th, 2010, 4:54 pm / #

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