Understanding sexuality during the adolescence stage of our lives

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Understanding sexuality during the adolescence stage of our lives

This article has been cited by other articles in PMC. During adolescence, major biological as well as psychological developments take place.

Development of sexuality is an important bio-psycho-social development, which takes an adult shape during this period. During adolescence, an individual's thought, perception as well as response gets colored sexually. Puberty is an important landmark of sexuality development that occurs in the adolescence.

The myriad of changes that occurs in adolescents puts them under enormous stress, which may have adverse physical, as well as psychological consequences.

Understanding adolescent sexuality has important clinical, legal, social, cultural, as well as educational implications.

Development of sexuality starts as early as in intrauterine life following conception and continues through infancy, childhood, adolescence, adulthood till death.

The child acknowledges its gender in early childhood as early as by 3 years. Self-awareness about sexuality gender role, gender identity evolves during the childhood.

Adolescence - Wikipedia

Puberty is reached during adolescence, which is a major landmark in the development of sexuality. The hypothalamo-pituitary-gonadal axis function is highly essential for the sexual development during puberty.

Adolescence can be broadly divided into three stages: Early 10—13 yearsmiddle 14—16 yearsand late 17—19 years. Physical changes start in early adolescence, where they are very concerned about their body image.

During adolescence cognitive development takes place; adolescents develop abstract thinking and reasoning. Emotionally, they develop a sense of identity during late adolescence; social involvement, peer interaction, as well as sexual interest, develop in this phase.

Different behavioral experimentation is seen in early adolescence, risk taking in middle adolescence, and later adolescents learns to assess their own risk taking. S Census Bureau, adolescents 10—19 years of age count approximately 1. In developing countries like India, the adolescents are also subjected to early marriage, which results in teenage pregnancy and adolescent fatherhood.

In most cases, females in comparison to males are subjected to early marriage. Early exposure to sexual relationship also increases the risk of sexually transmitted diseases. As the culture of the developing country facilitates early marriage, as well as early pregnancy and adolescent fatherhood, the family and the society usually prepare the adolescents for the same which colors the adolescents attitude toward sexuality.

In some reserved cultures, sexuality is discussed little so there is little scope to explore sexuality, and it still remains as a myth or enigma for the adolescent, which affects their perception of sexuality.

Adolescent sexuality development can be better explained with the bio-psycho-social model. Biological factors are the genetic factors and neuro-endocrinal factors, which determine the biological sex and also having an influence on the psychological sex.

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During adolescence the gonadal hormones, cortisol, and many other hormones play a role in causing the onset of puberty. In both males and females-pubic hairs, axillary hairs develop which take a gender specific growth pattern. In males, there occurs enlargement of genitals, appearance of beard and mustache, and the physique takes a typical masculine shape.

In females, there occurs development of breast; menstruation starts, genitalia takes an adult shape, and the physique changes to a feminine type.

An adolescent's interest in a sexual relationship is also influenced by the hormones. Individual's personality or temperament is an important psychological factor that also decides the attitude toward sexuality.

Introvert adolescents face difficulty in approaching and responding sexually. Social factors or environmental factors also play a significant role in the development of adolescent sexuality.

The attitude of the parents toward sexuality, parenting style, peer relationship, cultural influences are the important social factors which facilitates the sexual learning and decides the sexual attitude of the adolescent. Other than the biological, psychological, and social factors, many more factors such as political, legal, philosophical, spiritual, ethical, and moral values significantly influence the sexuality development.

The sexuality, which remains quiescent during the latency phase, becomes active during the genital phase. During adolescence, an individual's need for intimacy and love making with opposite gender increases.

Adolescents explore about different appropriate ways to express the love and intimacy.

Understanding sexuality during the adolescence stage of our lives

On an average females experience these changes 12—18 months earlier than males. Furthermore, the time of attaining maturity can impact the adolescent development differently. However, they may have increased aggressiveness due to a surge of hormones.

Understanding sexuality during the adolescence stage of our lives

As per a research in the United States, during childhood-boys as compared to girls are more likely to face negative health outcomes like aggressive behavior and depression.Publisher of academic books and electronic media publishing for general interest and in a wide variety of fields.

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Understanding normal development of adolescent sexuality: A bumpy ride