Nowadays, precocious maturation has become rather widespread across nearly all human populations (Seeker, 2016). Simultaneously, there exist individuals whose puberty starts late (Steinberg, 2017). Because adolescence is a period during which children are subjected to significant changes and stress (Nickel, 2010), it is paramount to be aware of the potential advantages and disadvantages of both to be able to handle any situation if it occurs.
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When it comes to the early maturation of girls, it is possible to name multiple disadvantages. For instance, such girls are often psychologically unprepared for pubic changes in their bodies, might experience embarrassment about breasts, periods, etc.; also, they have less time to adapt to such development. In addition, they may appear adult, and, consequently, others might expect them to act like adults. The author of this paper can provide an example of a 10-years-old girl who is an acquaintance of hers. This girl has experienced precocious maturation, and it often takes significant effort to realize that she is only 10 and not to expect her to act as if she was 16. On the positive side, girls experiencing early maturation may make friends easier with boys, and as a result, they attain more social experience (Greenspan & Deardorff, 2014).
However, girls undergoing late maturation may suffer from anxiety due to lagging behind their peers in their development. This may be exacerbated if peers taunt the girl in question. On the contrary, these persons might often have safer adolescence, for they have a greater amount of time for psychological and emotional development and preparation (Greenspan & Deardorff, 2014). They may also avoid the risks of being pressured into early dating due to their appearance.
Finally, as for average maturation, it might be possible to hypothesize that in this case, the situation is balanced. Probably the main advantage is that a girl who matures “on time” feels more connected to her peers. Also, she experiences neither the advantages nor the disadvantages of both cases described above (Steinberg, 2017).
Greenspan, L., & Deardorff, J. (2014). The new puberty: How to navigate early development in today’s girls. New York, NY: Rodale Books.
Nickel, T. (2010). Teenagers: Need more sleep [Video file]. Web.
Seeker. (2016). Why is early puberty so dangerous? [Video file]. Web.
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Steinberg, L. (2017). Adolescence (11th ed.). New York, NY: McGrawHill Education.