Adolescent Development: Boys vs. Girls
The process of child growth and development is one process that many parents dread but at the same time find it interesting as well as a lifetime experience. The way that parents raise one child is completely different from the way they will raise the other child, the reason being the two children have different personalities and as a result, the parents should be flexible. As the child grows from early childhood, middle childhood and enters the adolescent stage the parents are faced with another uphill task of dealing with the adolescent(s). According to psychologists, the adolescent stage of child growth and development is one of the most fragile stages since the teenagers undergo complete physical, mental and emotional transformation and it is the responsibility of both the parents and guardians to advise and counsel the child so as they become responsible adults.
Purpose of the Paper
During the adolescent stage, teenagers undergo various changes which are known as developmental factors and they include physical, emotional and social changes. The purpose of this paper will be to focus on one of these changes and compare the experience for girls and boys from the perspective of gender as a social construct. The paper will also explain how the change in one factor affects the other and how the adolescents can be advised and guided to ensure that they go through this process successfully. It is important to note that both boys and girls react differently to the changes that they experience during the adolescent stage and therefore the advice to the two parties are not the same, the different types of psychological preparations will also be mentioned in the paper. In conclusion, the paper will give a summary of the important points mentioned in the paper.
Physical Developmental Factors
Physical changes are one noticeable feature in most adolescents and these changes affect them emotionally and socially as well. It is important to note that there are some similar and different physical changes in both boys and girls and each of these changes affect them in one way or the other.
Physical Changes in Girls
According to 4parents, one of the visible physical changes in girls as they enter adolescent is the appearance and growth of breasts (4parents, 2009). This in most cases makes the girls public shy or timid since most of them are still naive and they don’t know how they will be viewed by the public. Apart from breast development, there is also an increase in height and weight of the girl’s bodies (4parents, 2009). This increase in height and weight makes some of them uncomfortable and they tend to shy away from the public since some of them believe their bodies have not shaped up the way they hoped they will, some girls become “too tall” while others “too fat”. In addition to that, 4parents states the rapid growth of hips and waist is another r noticeable physical change that most girls look forward to (4parents, 2009). It is normal to see adolescents admire themselves in the mirror to see how their hips are being defined. Girl’s that develop well-shaped hips and waist feel proud and “enjoy” showing them off as compared to their friends who hips might not shape in the way they wanted. There is a growth of hair under the armpits, arms and legs and the body muscles also become more defined and strong but lesser defined and stronger as compared to those of the boys (4parents, 2009). The last noticeable physical change is the growth of facial pimples or acnes, although they don’t appear on the faces of all girls.
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Physical Changes in Boys
The main similarity in the physical changes in boys and girls during puberty is the increase in height and weight (4parents, 2009). Boys during puberty develop broad shoulders, increase in height, weight and a more defined physique. This physique is it terms of body muscles become more defined and stronger; however, unlike girls, who might be intimidated by a rapid increase in height and weight, boys find pride in this and they are not afraid to “show off” to the public. While the hips and waistline of girls increase during this stage, in boys it’s their reproductive organs. The size of the male reproductive organs (penis and scrotum) gradually increases in size as they go through the stage. This is good news to most teenagers since they can tell that they are on the right path to manhood. The last notable physical change in boys during puberty is the deepening of the voice and also in some boys, they develop “small breasts” but which disappears once they are out of puberty.
The Comparative Analysis
The first part of this essay paper has looked at the physical changes that occur to girls during puberty and how the social reaction that they have. In the second part, the paper has discussed the changes that occur in boys and also the social reaction. From the two sections, it is wise to note that as boys and girls enter the puberty stage, boys are more welcoming to the stage and are filled with pride and ego while girls tend to be shy because of the physical changes they go through. It is at this stage that counselors and parents have to step in. to start with girls, they should be advised that they changes they are going through are normal and they should not feel intimidated by them. They should also be made aware that their bodies are changing both physically, biologically (menstrual periods) and emotionally and as a result, they should embrace the changes positively. As for the boys, they should be advised on how to control their pride and ego so as not to get on the wrong side of the law. The issue of identity crisis is one that should not be left unattended to. The two groups should be guided on the positive virtues of life because letting the youth decide for themselves on which path to follow may be catastrophic in future but with the good guidance they an adolescent can become a very productive and successful person.
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Summation of the Paper
This essay paper has mainly focused on the physical changes that boys and girls go through during the adolescent stage. The paper has first looked at the changes that the girls go through; thereafter it has looked at the changes that boys undergo. At the same time, the paper has discussed the social perception of the two and the social reaction that the two display during this transformation. The paper has also given a comparative analysis of these changes and in conclusion had looked at the role to be played by the parents and counselors to ensure that these youths transform into responsible mature adults.