Puberty Mini Essay There are many factors that affect the timing of puberty. A large factor is genetics, because it later causes the onset of other factors as well. It’s said that maturation and puberty are determined by genetic forces and can be different depending on ethnicity as well. Children in the US seem to mature and hit puberty faster than Asian Americans, while African Americans are ahead of the US. Massimo Mangino, author from the Twin Research Department at King’s, says: “It is fascinating how common genetic variants influence both early puberty and weight gain. With that said obesity is another factor and is becoming an epidemic in this country. Obesity can almost guarantee the girl will have an early start into puberty and can later lead to a higher risk of psychological problems, risk-taking behavior, and even future breast cancer. But the opposite effect of obesity on pubertal timing may occur in boys. Studies have shown that early maturing boys seem to have a lower rate of obesity when compared with boys with normally or later timed puberty. Another factor is anxiety/stress.
When there is a higher level of stress on the child it tends to prompt the body to send the hypothalamic signal and cause the child to reach puberty at a younger age than normal. Since this sends the child into early puberty, it can affect them with aggression and antisocial behavior as well later on. But on the other side of this, it can also delay puberty as well; it typically relies on the type of stress and the environment of the stress. If the living conditions are poor and there is little food, the stress can lead to a delay of maturation.
Early puberty onset for females can be much more damaging than later onset. Females who start puberty early are at higher risk for problems and cancer later in life and usually have a negative body image as well. Earlier puberty onset for males is not as damaging as it is on females though. Sometimes it is seen as a head start in some cultures. If the male is strong and larger than his peers he is looked up to. If the male has a later onset of puberty he may have a different appearance than his peers and may be picked one which can cause a negative body image as well.
Works Cited Belsky, Janet (2010). Experiencing the Lifep (2th Ed). New York: Worth Publishers Yuen, F. The Onset of Puberty. http://www. soc. hawaii. edu/leonj/409as98/yuen/famr499. html Walvoord, E. (2010). The Timing of Puberty: Is it changing? Does It Matter? Journal of Adolescent Health, 1–7. (Kings College London, 2010) Researchers discover common genetic variants influence early puberty, body fat. http://www. news-medical. net/news/20101122/Researchers-discover-common-genetic-variants-influence-early-puberty-body-fat. aspx