Sexual Development in Puberty and Adolescence
MetadataShow full item record
Adolescence is a phase of transition during which major developments of sexuality take place. Puberty is a 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 years), middle (14 – 16 years), and late (17 – 19 years). Adolescence 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. During adolescence the gonadal hormone, cortisol, and many other hormones play a role in causing the onset of puberty. The secondary sexual characters are expressed due to this neuro-endocrineal influence. In both males and females-pubic hair develop which take a gender specific growth pattern. In males, there occurs enlargement of genitals, appearace of beard and mustache, and physique take a typical masculine shape. In females, there occurs development of breast, menstruation starts, genitalia take an adult shape, and the physique changes to a femine type. An adolescent’s interest in a sexual relationship is also influenced by the hormones. Understanding puberty and adolescence sexuality has important clinical, legal, social, cultural, as well as educational implications.