A BOY GROWS UP



GROWING UP PHYSICALLY

Most of you by now should have some idea of how you grow and develop. However, there are some facts which are worth repeating and about which you might not have been aware. In a boy, anytime between the ages of 11 and 16, adult sex characteristics gradually appear. Their appearance is a sign that the body has become sex­ually mature. As a boy’s body matures sexually, he develops new thoughts and feelings. Becoming physically and sexually mature is only one part of growing up to manhood. A boy needs also to grow up emotionally and socially and he has much more growing up to do before he is ready to have children of his own.

PUBERTY

Puberty is a stage of growth, early in a boy’s life, when these changes are taking place. It is just at the beginning of the adolescent period (see adole­scence). These changes come about through the action of hormones in the body. A hormone is a chemical substance which is secreted into the blood by special glands in the body known as endocrine glands.   At puberty, the pituitary gland located at the base of the brain produces a hormone which stimulates the gonads or sex glands. These sex glands in turn produce hormones which bring about the changes that are characteristic of puberty.

Some of these changes are as follows:

  1) gain in height and weight,
  2) growth of hair around the pubic area, under the arms and on the,
  3) face development of the penis and testicles,
  4) broadening of the shoulders and strengthening of the muscles and,
  5) deepening of the voice,
  6) pimples (face, back, chest, rear end) that should disappear,
  7) inconvenient erection of penis.


NOCTURNAL EMISSIONS

In addition to these changes, the testicles begin to make sperm cells and seminal emissions or ‘wet dreams’ occur. Seminal     emissions come whenever the body has made more sperm cells and seminal fluid than it can store. These emissions normally take place during the night or any long period of rest. Some boys worry when they wake to find a spot on the pajamas or on the sheet, but there is no need for worry as seminal emissions are a per­fectly normal thing.

MASTURBATION

A boy, at one time or another, may feel the urge to play with his penis or masturbate.  This results in a feeling of pleasure and the arousal causes an erec­tion. Eventually, if continued,  an ejaculation will happen. For many boys growing up there might be the urge to masturbate over and over. This prac­tice is not encouraged as the boy may make it a habit. 


Here is a drawing of the Male Reproductive (Sex) Organ.



 THE TESTICLE

 The testicle is an egg-shaped gland which produces sperm. There are two testicles located in the scrotum.

 THE SCROTUM

 The scrotum is the pouch behind and at the root of the penis, and contains the testicles and other organs.

 THE PENIS

 The penis is the male sex organ through which sperm cells are introduced into the vagina of the female. When the male sperm meets a female ovum (egg) conception takes place. Thus a life is begun.

 VAS DEFERENS

 There are two tubes carrying sperm from the testicles to the seminal testicles where it is stored. As the sperm leaves the vesicles it mixes with fluid to become semen.

SEMEN

 The semen is a thick, whitish fluid of sperm and secretion from seminal vesicle and prostate gland  that is ejaculated through the penis.

 PROSTATE GLAND

 The prostate gland is a gland which surrounds the neck of the bladder. This gland secretes seminal fluids at ejaculation.

 SEMINAL VESICLES

 Seminal vesicles are glands which pour out sec­retion from the testicles, prostrate and other glands.

 URETHRA

 Another tube which carries fluid (sperm or urine) to the penis where it is expelled.

 GROWING UP MENTALLY

 The mental aspect of growing up is very im­portant, and may be affected by or may affect other  aspects of the maturing process in the adolescent. School work, attitudes, life in the neighbourhood,  hobbies, all these are very important in mental development.

 ADOLESCENCE

  Both boys and girls pass through a period of growth sometime between childhood and adulthood   called adolescence. During this period a boy is re­quired to get used to the changes in his body.   Emotionally, it is a period of uncertainty for many adolescents.

 Socially, a boy has many more responsibilities as he develops into a man. For example, he begins  to be attracted to girls and they begin to show interest in him. He’ll probably find that he should try  and learn to be a better person through his mistakes. A mistake is never good if it is committed twice.

A good adolescent will become a successful person.

 GROWING UP SOCIALLY

 The social aspect of growth into adulthood is also important. Any boy should realize by now,  that he is a member of a community and a social being.

 Young people’s groups, such as church organi­zations and community youth clubs, provide opportunities under adult supervision to meet and become accustomed to the opposite sex. It is necessary that boys learn to understand and respect girls, and develop a greater sense of responsibility in dealing with them. This would help to ensure a healthy and positive attitude towards the opposite sex.

 The growing body of the adolescent needs ex­ercise. For this reason sports are essential on the list of  needs of all boys (and girls, too). There are many different types of games and some boys tend to be more athletic  than others. The important thing is to exercise and play some kind of game.

     In conclusion, it should be said again that a boy must take into account  all the factors which contribute to his growth and development and prepare himself for a well-adjusted life which include later on, a happy marriage and parenthood.

BUREAU OF HEALTH EDUCATION
MINISTRY OF HEALTH
SPONSORED BY: PAHO-WHO