The word adolescence comes from Latin and literally means to start growing. It is a period of human life, a stage that lies between puberty and maturity. In general, an individual’s life can be divided into the following stages: childhood, adolescence, maturity and old age. It is a classification that obeys physiological reasons, but also psychological and cultural. What is Adolescence?
Physical and psychological changes in adolescence
Adolescence goes through a series of physiological changes. Boys develop musculature, their voice becomes deeper and there is genital maturation . Girls have a growth in their mammary glands, accumulate fat in some parts of the body and also develop their genitals. Physical changes have significant influences on the psychological aspect.
Thus, teenage boys and girls manifest a series of characteristic traits: they place great importance on physical appearance; manifest affective bonds with a certain group of friends; they may have self-esteem issues and conflict with their parents; they try to experience new sensations. Generally, adolescents are at a time of physical and psychological change, as they no longer want to be a child , but an adult. What is Adolescence?
The physical and psychological changes experienced in adolescence are directly related to sexuality. In fact, adolescents feel a sexual impulse of a certain intensity and this aspect influences their personal relationships. Proof of this is the rate of pregnancy among teenage girls, a social problem that has not yet been resolved despite prevention and awareness campaigns.
From a cultural point of view, it should be noted that, traditionally, adolescence has always been a key moment for most civilizations.
In many peoples, the adolescent demonstrated his masculine qualities through some initiation ritual and if he were a girl he would have to undergo some tests to demonstrate his femininity or his social role in the community. These rituals are held in some minority groups or religions, for example in Judaism, boys and girls perform a ceremony to symbolize entry into adulthood. What is Adolescence?
Most rituals and ceremonies have lost their traditional value . However, some practices that are currently carried out (such as alcohol initiation) have an evident symbolic component.
The culture of adolescence is present in clothing and fashion, but also in music and values.