Puberty is a period in which psychological changes and fast, physical growth occurs, resulting in sexual maturity. The onset of puberty starts from age 11 or 12 for boys and age 10 or 11 for girls. Everyone's timetable for puberty is affected primarily by hereditary but environmental factors, such as diet and exercise, also affect. There are many myths about puberty.
One is the development of pubic hair which signals the onset of puberty. In reality, white girls and black experience the development of pubic hair at the age of seven and six years respectively. The second myth is the menarche that signals that the end of growth is near. After the menarche is 3 inches, gaining more is apparent. The third myth is a decrease to a centile that is low. This is a pathologic condition in a young person. Normally, there is delay in growth but the adolescent is still healthy. The fourth myth is that if there is a constitutional delay in the administration of testosterone to boys, a shorter final height will be experienced (Feldman & Elliott, 1990). In reality, low dose testosterone accelerates growth and development of secondary sex characteristics without affecting adult height.
Some of the psychological and social issues that a person faces during the transition to puberty are enlargement of the testicles and penis in boys and breasts among girls. Girls also experience the development of kinky hair as well as widening of hips (Feldman & Elliot, 1990). One may experience a mixture of strong feelings and being more self-conscious. Adolescence in psychological perspective is the shift from parents to peer orientation that ends with increased capacity for intimacy with peers and adults. Social perspective gives emphasis to the transformation of one’s social status during their journey from childhood to adulthood. Emotional perspective starts when one becomes independent from parents and gets a new identity and emotional autonomy (Steinberg, 1996).At the onset of adolescence, diverse types of emotional changes are identified at different phases of growth. At the start of adolescence one shows more emotional sensitivity and higher frequency of conflict (Steinberg, 1996).
Another change is the misinterpretation of facial expressions or language of the body which affect their behavior and relationships. Emily as a teenager in a private school was emotionally affected by adolescence. She spent a lot of time alone and were bullied. Solomon, another teenager, was confused in making decisions about drug abuse and wild behavior. Many teens make foolish decisions during the adolescence stage. The transition into adulthood differs from one culture to another. The transition to adulthood is a time for relationships and romance from a normative perspective. Cultures comprise of the ritual ceremony which serves as a rite of passage (Feldman & Elliott, 1990). In most African cultures the adolescent boys go through circumcision as a rite of passage from childhood to adulthood. Also, the removal of forefront teeth as a rite of passage to adulthood is done amongst many African cultures. Pluralism is the concept in …