Adolescence is defined as the years between the onset of puberty and the beginning of adulthood. In the past, when people were likely to marry in their early 20s or younger, this period might have lasted only 10 years or less — starting roughly between ages 12 and 13 and ending by age 20, at which time the child got a job or went to work on the family farm, married, and started his or her own family. Today, children mature more slowly, move away from home at later ages, and maintain ties with their parents longer. For instance, children may go away to university but still receive financial support from parents, and they may come home on weekends or even to live for extended time periods. Thus the period between puberty and adulthood may well last into the late 20s, merging into adulthood itself. In fact, it is appropriate now to consider the period of adolescence and that of emerging adulthood the ages between 18 and the middle or late 20s together. During adolescence, the child continues to grow physically, cognitively, and emotionally, changing from a child into an adult. The body grows rapidly in size, and the sexual and reproductive organs become fully functional.
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Most adolescents and adults identify themselves as heterosexual. However, paediatricians and other health care providers must be aware of the significant psychological, social and medical issues that face young people who are gay, lesbian or bisexual. Almost all of these issues arise from the stigmatization that these youth face, rather than from the orientation itself 1 , 2. Rather, the practitioner must create an environment in which the adolescent can discuss any questions or worries that they have, whether they identify themselves as homosexual, have found that they are attracted to people of the same gender, have had a sexual encounter with someone of the same gender or are confused about their feelings. The present paper reviews the relevant definitions, epidemiologies and approaches when working with gay, lesbian and bisexual youth. One does not have to be sexually active to have a sexual orientation. Sexual and affectational preferences are not always congruent. Those who are attracted primarily to the opposite sex are heterosexual, those attracted primarily to the same sex are homosexual gay or lesbian and those who are attracted to both sexes are bisexual.
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I t's so unfair. No one understands you. People who actually have no idea tell you what to do all the time. About anything. No one is there when you discover something completely weird about the world. Not all the time. Some of the time.
It is not uncommon for parents to worry about what their teenage children are doing on a Friday or Saturday night but according to a Baylor College of Medicine expert, it is weekday afternoons when teens often choose to engage in risky behaviors like sexual activities. Fortunately, there are other protective factors that parents should focus on that may delay a teen becoming sexually active. These include:. Smith offers some advice on effective communication:. For younger teens — ages 13 to 15 — keep the conversation honest and direct. They want to know why their bodies are changing, so parents can use that discussion as a way to talk about sex. Parents should be aware of changes in behavior and keep in mind that they should be able to monitor any technology that they pay for. By middle adolescence — ages 15 to 17 — teens are starting to challenge parents on issues like clothes, hair color and dating. Parents should choose their battles wisely with this age group and continue to be direct, but non-hostile, when talking about sex.