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Puberty in Boys: What Actually Happens

Both boys and girls hit puberty near or during their teenage years, which is often referred to as the period of adolescence. During this period, the body undergoes various physical, psychological, and psychosocial changes. Some teenagers gain weight or experience a growth in their height. Puberty may hit rapidly, or during slow spaced-out time phases, both of which are entirely normal and part of the process. It is thus important to stress that puberty involves both physical and mental maturity, each progressing at its own pace. Puberty and adolescence are a very crucial and stressful period during a child’s life and the pressures of the Pakistani society don’t make it any easier.

Is the struggle real?

In our culture, “masculinity” is seen as super important yet most males know nothing about this phase of their life. Puberty exposes males to a set of strong emotions which they cannot express publicly because of the social stereotype that men are “tough” and “strong”. Fatherly figures are also seen in a “strict” light in the Pakistani society which is why boys may be too shy to share their sudden erection experience with them and even though most boys in the Pakistani society are closer to their mothers, there is a fine barrier between things that they can discuss with her as they grow up.

Thus, they turn towards the internet to lookup why they are experiencing certain body changes. The “S” word is an unspoken term in the Pakistani society and this leads to reliance on the internet for education. This may be a helpful thing in most cases, but eventually is the reason for highest porn streaming in Pakistan. According to a research, over 88.2% porn videos contain physical violence and aggression while around 49% of them contain verbal abuse of some sort. Young teenagers tend to pick up on things very quickly. They are led to believe that aggression is a sign of “masculinity” and thus tend to imitate those especially because consent is never mentioned and respecting boundaries is never discussed.

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“According to a research, over 88.2% porn videos contain physical violence and aggression while around 49% of them contain verbal abuse of some sort”

Furthermore, as boys consume pornography, they tend to set unrealistic expectations about their bodies which can really bring them down mentally. Thus, it is important that parents educate their kids about sex. They must give the boys “the talk” where they discuss the basics of sex and consent, along with safe sex (and self-pleasure) practices to ensure that they don’t harm themselves or anyone else. They must also inform the child of what changes his body will undergo during the next few years and any necessary hygiene adjustments because of it. Children tend to get really stressed about what happens to their body and may not feel comfortable discussing it initially. It is important for the parents to initiate the conversation for the kids to feel safe and confident about their body and their actions, so that they do not feel alone in their journey to manhood.

What changes happen in boys as a result of puberty?

The initial puberty change in boys is the enlargement of the testicles followed by the enlargement of the penis. This leads to slow growth of pubic hair and signs of hair growth around the stomach and thighs.

Boys also face several other body changes including growth of their hands, feet, arms and legs. During this period, boys may start “feeling clumsy”. It is important that their parents understand this is totally normal. In some cases, hormonal changes may also be reflected by swelling around the breasts, which is often a temporary condition. However, a medical professional must be contacted if the condition persists. Similarly, a “crack” in the voice is normal before the voice deepens.

As puberty hormones increase, the body produces more oil and sweat, which may lead to acne. Penis erection is also normal, which may happen with or without a reason.

Puberty and the psychological and psychosocial journey

Puberty is defined most critically by the emergence of abstract thinking, which happens in tandem with the ability to form your own viewpoints, absorb the viewpoints of others and debate the same. Strong interests like those in climate change, specific economic and philosophy schools, in collaboration-oriented activities like multiplayer video gaming develop at this time. An increased ability of introspection is also seen though it can be inconsistent and sporadic, and events driven. The development of personality accelerates into the realm of complexity and sexual identity starts to be formed.

Boys establish a system of values and seek greater autonomy and personal independence, which accelerates development of skills and coping strategies to overcome issues and problems.

As boys develop the ability to think abstractly, they tend to set long term goals for themselves. While this is a healthy trait, with it comes the tendency to compare oneself to their peers and a step into the world of peer pressure.

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