Puberty: Is It True That Girls Mature More Quickly Than Guys?
“Grow up!” — It’s a famous one liner women often use against their partners and spouses. While it often sounds like men have a choice, and at some point they do, earlier in life though their inability to become more mentally, emotionally and psychologically stable are wired in their DNA and in their brains.
Puberty changes are to be expected among girls and boys. It is a stage marked by awkwardness and generally being confused as to how to act appropriately for their age. It is a time when girls and boys start exploring their sexuality as well and try to find who they are and what to become, so-to-speak.
Do girls really mature earlier?
You can forget about what’s been hypothesized and widely believed that men and women originated from two different planets. Although John Gray had very convincing, occasionally entertaining, theories about the differences in men and women, this new study, published in the journal, “Cerebral Cortex,” in 2013 sheds a new light on the more biological drivers of these gender differences using no less than hard science.
According to the study, the difference lies inside the brain. After observing MRI results of 121 subjects aged 4 to 40, the researchers concluded:
- The brain matures as we age. It creates links to areas of the brain not previously connected and eliminates the areas where redundancies occur.
- The reorganization of the brain causes a person’s thoughts to reach stability and therefore maturity in a way it is understood in practical terms.
- This reorganization process happens at an earlier age among girls.
As for the more physical developments typically occurring around puberty, and most especially observations pointing to girls developing breasts and getting their menstrual periods at an earlier age compared to decades ago, different theories have surfaced. The earlier onset of puberty among girls is said to result from:
- Certain social triggers that causes the brain to drive a girl into puberty. Some scientists have theorized that social relationships and the experience of depression, anxiety and sex at an early age can all trigger premature onset of puberty.
- Excess fats and obesity. Estrogen is the primary driver of puberty and girls. Other than the pituitary gland, however, estrogen is also produced by fat. Too much fat in the body therefore can cause a girl to be driven into puberty much sooner than other girls normally would.
- Endocrine disrupting chemicals, more specifically, such as DDT, PCB and phthalates, cheats the body by mimicking estrogen. This way, it causes a girl’s body to enter puberty sooner. Meanwhile, more mature women who become exposed to extra loads of estrogen are found to be at higher risk for developing breast and ovarian cancers.
How to help young girls and boys cope
Puberty in girls mark a generally confusing period for young girls and boys to bridge the awkward transition that marks moving from their love of toys to a growing liking for the opposite sex. It is a stage where they are unsure whether to act like children or act mature like an adult.
If you are a parent or the guardian of a teenager, here are tips on how you can help your child successfully survive this transition:
- Allow your child to enjoy his or her childhood. Don’t force them to become too mature or too responsible for their age. Give them that time to be carefree and raw as they naturally can be.
- As soon as your child is able to understand, talk to him or her about abuse. It is important for you to let your child know that he or she has boundaries that should not be crossed by others. Teach your child practical things to do under abusive circumstances and assure your child that you will be ready to listen.
- When your child has transitioned into an adolescent, make sure to have a talk with him or her about sex and sexuality. If you’re not sure how, ask for some pointers from your health provider or, have your health provider discuss these matters to your child.
Evidence of the gender differences when it comes to rate of maturity now confirms women become more responsible earlier than boys. Nevertheless, our boys and girls face the same difficulties morphing into young adults. Help ensure your child of a successful transition by overcoming your own fears about breaking taboos, particularly concerning sex and sexuality.
Addie Davison, health and beauty consultant from New York, New Jersey, USA. She holds a bachelor’s degree in English literature. She likes to write about beauty, skincare, and makeup. She is very passionate about writing. Her articles mainly focus on content quality and originality. She has self-promotion abilities and works independently on her own initiatives. Contact with her on Google+, Pinterest.