A teenager, or teen, is a person who falls within the ages of 13 to 19 years old. The word "teenager" is another word for an adolescent. When a teenager turns 20, they are no longer a teenager: they are no longer in that developmental stage.
The way the word is used varies. Most societies traditionally had a formal ceremony to mark the change from childhood to adulthood. These ceremonies were often quite elaborate. During puberty, rapid mental and physical development occurs. Adolescence is the name for this transition period from childhood to adulthood.
In the United States, children and teens from the ages 11–14 go to middle school, while teenagers from the ages of 14–18 typically go to high school. In the United Kingdom, teenagers and children are mixed in secondary school. Teenagers attending secondary school (high school in the US) generally graduate at the age of 16 or 19. Sexual attraction to teenagers is called ephebophilia, which often gets confused for pedophilia (paedophilia in the UK).
Timing of puberty[change | change source]
On average, girls begin puberty at ages 10–14; boys at ages 12–16. Girls usually complete puberty by ages 15–17, while boys usually complete puberty by ages 16–17. The major landmark of puberty for females is menarche, the onset of menstruation, which occurs on average between ages 12–13; for males, it is the first ejaculation, which occurs on average at age 15.In the 21st century, the average age at which children, especially girls, reach puberty is lower compared to the 19th century, when it was 15 for girls and 16 for boys. This can be due to improved nutrition resulting in rapid body growth, increased weight and fat deposition, or eating meat from animals which have been dosed up with estrogen.
References[change | change source]
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