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    Teen Girls' Guide to Teen Boys

    The physical and emotional changes teen guys go through.


    Puberty is the fastest you’ll grow, other than when you’re a little baby, says Marc Lerner, MD, of the University of California, Irvine.

    All that change can be awkward at times.

    “Guys are also sometimes uncomfortable with how their body is changing in terms of height, their physical strength, or acne,” Lerner says. And, guys who develop slower and are smaller than other boys may feel really stressed about it.

    On top of that, boys’ voices become deeper and may start to crack. Guys can blame their growing larynx, or voice box, for that.

    If a boy seems pretty shy about talking to you or speaking up in class at this age, it could be that he feels awkward about his voice.

    Cut him some slack -- wouldn’t you clam up if you were worried about your voice failing you in public?


    Sex and the Power of Hormones

    The same male hormones that brought on hair growth and B.O. also stir up new sexual urges.

    “Girls might notice boys paying more attention,” Legano says.

    Strong thoughts about sex, Lerner says, sometimes “lead to intense focus and intense but brief connection, which may pass very quickly.” That’s often confusing, he says.

    All these thoughts lead to lots of erections, when the penis fills with blood and becomes hard. And, it can be tough for guys at this age to control them.

    It takes some time for guys (and girls) to sort out all the thoughts and feelings they’re having about sex and to figure out who they are, but it’s a normal part of growing up.

    Give a Guy a Break

    If you think boys are so immature, think again.

    The guy who may have a hard time talking with you may not be confident or he may not be an awesome communicator -- yet.  Guys (and girls) start to show more empathy, mature social skills, and have more intimate relationships around age 17. That’s when the frontal lobe of the brain, which plays a big role in self-control, develops more fully.

    Boys who "may seem immature, shy, and not socially mature will develop soon and become more comfortable with themselves,” Legano says.

    Your best bet is to be kind to people -- guys or girls -- and think about who they're becoming, not just who they are right now. That's part of growing up, too.

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    Reviewed on January 10, 2012

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