Sexual Maturity

….Continuation from Girls Challenges Post

It is during the middle stage of adolescent when puberty has already passed when you start being extremely concerned with how you look, and you think others are concerned too.

Relationships are often changing during this stage. You will start worrying about sexual attractiveness. Most of middle adolescents complain about their parents preventing them from becoming independent, and they withdraw from them. You may try to assert your independence by picking up annoying habits. There is an intense focus on peer groups during middle adolescence, and teens in this stage tend to confide in each other more than they do their parents.

**Confide to one of your family member – it is safer.

As with early adolescence, teens in middle adolescence may feel invincible. Risk-taking behaviors are significantly increased during this stage. On the other hand, acting-out behaviors begin to decrease, since teens in this stage have a better grasp on how to use words as a means of expression.

It is a “dense” phase of life with intellectual, psychological and social developmental transitions, each transition affects the pathways of the other. Your life can be easily disrupted by events such as unplanned or unwanted sexual and unexpected reproductive events. In this phase of life, you need to be exposed to things that heightens your social status, minimizes your social risks, delay your assumption of adult roles and cultivate a capacity for critical thinking and independent decision-making in order to reshape your future pathway radically and profoundly with cascading benefits over your lifetime. Adolescence is a phase of life when temporary setbacks can have lifelong consequences.

In this phase of life many girls are not being told every important information about their sexual maturity after puberty hence may find yourself encounter one of more of the following challenges:

  • Early sexual relationship: your body changes and you become more attractive to men, you can easily be trapped especially with older boys/men and find yourself in intimacy relationship.  And because your decision making capacity in such relationship is still un-matured the man you are in relationship with will be the decision maker.
  • Unexpected Pregnancy: As much as you are not well informed about your sexual maturity, you won’t have the level of knowledge about your menstruation circle so as you start engaging yourself in sexual relationship it is easy for you to fall pregnant.
  • Early Motherhood challenges and responsibilities: You will have to cope with the responsibilities following the birth of the child, managing the competing demands of your daily life and taking care of your baby in a site of settlement. You will receive good support from your mother, father, siblings and close friends but rarely from the father of the child and the wider community.  You will be frowned upon by your wider ethnic community, which may leave you with feelings of shame and embarrassment, despite the personal perceived benefits of achieving motherhood.
  • NOTE: Even when you fall pregnant or become young mother, you will still share similar needs with adolescent girls in general; you will be faced with various struggles in supporting yourself and your child something which might make it necessary for you to explore the specific barriers faced before proposing options to address your needs.

“To be Continued…”

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