During puberty, the degree to which we are supported to become who we really are by our families and social networks is the degree to which we will bloom and remain healthy. When we are not fully supported in becoming who we really are, however, we are at increased risk for developing illness or mood disorders at adolescence.
Girls feel the sex drive in their bodies long before they are psychologically ready to commit to marriage and the demands of a mature relationship. That’s why some indigenous cultures have sanctioned sexual experimentation among young people so they can “get it out of their systems” early on.
Puberty involves a series of hormonally mediated changes in a girl’s body and brain. Although many people think of puberty as an event marked by the first menstrual period, the term in fact refers to the entire developmental sequence that leads to sexual and reproductive maturity.