The time between the first onrushof hormones and full adult physical development.Puberty usually lasts three to fiveyears. Many more years are required toachieve psychosocial maturity.
menarche (p. 407)
A girl’s first menstrual period,signaling that she has begun ovulation.Pregnancy is biologically possible, but ovulationand menstruation are often irregularfor years after menarche.
spermarche (p. 407)
A boy’s first ejaculation ofsperm. Erections can occur as early asinfancy, but ejaculation signals sperm production.Spermarche may occur duringsleep (in a “wet dream”) or via directstimulation.
hormones (p. 408)
An organic chemical substancethat is produced by one body tissue andconveyed via the bloodstream to anotherto affect some physiological function.
pituitary (p. 408)
A gland in the brain that respondsto a signal from the hypothalamus by producingmany hormones, including thosethat regulate growth and control otherglands, among them the adrenal and sexglands.
adrenal glands (p. 408)
Two glands, located abovethe kidneys, that produce hormones(including the “stress hormones” epinephrine[adrenaline] and norepinephrine).
HPA axis (p. 408)
A sequence of hormone productionoriginating in the hypothalamus andmoving to the pituitary and then to theadrenal glands.
gonads (p. 409)
The paired sex glands (ovaries infemales, testicles in males). The gonadsproduce hormones and gametes.
HPG axis (p. 409)
A sequence of hormone productionoriginating in the hypothalamus andmoving to the
estradiol (p. 409)
A sex hormone, considered thechief estrogen. Females produce muchmore estradiol than males do.
testosterone (p. 409)
A sex hormone, the bestknown of the androgens (male hormones);secreted in far greater amounts by malesthan by females.
leptin (p. 413)
A hormone that affects appetite andis believed to affect the onset of puberty.Leptin levels increase during childhood andpeak at around age 12.
secular trend (p. 413)
The long-term upward ordownward direction of a certain set of statisticalmeasurements, as opposed to asmaller, shorter cyclical variation. As anexample, over the last two centuries,because of improved nutrition and medicalcare, children have tended to reach theiradult height earlier and their adult heighthas increased.
body image (p. 417)
A person’s idea of how his orher body looks.
anorexia nervosa (p. 418)
An eating disorder characterizedby self-starvation. Affectedindividuals voluntarily undereat and oftenoverexercise, depriving their vital organs ofnutrition. Anorexia can be fatal.
bulimia nervosa (p. 419)
An eating disorder characterizedby binge eating and subsequentpurging, usually by induced vomitingand/or use of laxatives.
growth spurt (p. 421)
The relatively sudden andrapid physical growth that occurs duringpuberty. Each body part increases in sizeon a schedule: Weight usually precedesheight, and growth of the limbs precedesgrowth of the torso.
primary sex characteristics(p. 422)
The parts of thebody that are directly involved in reproduction,including the vagina, uterus, ovaries,testicles, and penis.
secondary sex characteristics(p. 422)
Physicaltraits that are not directly involved in reproductionbut that indicate sexual maturity,such as a man’s beard and a woman’sbreasts.
sexually transmitted infection(STI) (p. 429)
A diseasespread by sexual contact, includingsyphilis, gonorrhea, genital herpes,chlamydia, and HIV.
child sexual abuse (p. 430)
Any erotic activity thatarouses an adult and excites, shames, orconfuses a child, whether or not the victimprotests and whether or not genital contactis involved.
generational forgetting (p. 435)
The idea that eachnew generation forgets what the previousgeneration learned. As used here, theterm refers to knowledge about the harmdrugs can do.