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adolescence
the time between being a child and becoming an adult when psychological and social development occur.
adrenal glands
glands found on top of the kidneys. While most of the testosterone in males comes from the testes, the adrenals are the main source of testosterone in females.
aggression
in one sense, to be assertive, active, bold, take the initiative, and persist; in another sense, to attack, fight, conquer, and cause pain.
anabolic steroids
human-made hormones that can temporarily increase muscle size.
anemia
a condition of insufficient red blood cells.
anorexia
an eating disorder that involves severe dieting and weight loss.
averages
(as they relate to growth and development) The ages at which adolescents reach certain stages of puberty are collected, added together, and then divided by the number of persons studied. For example, a girl may develop breasts on average by age 13, but the normal range includes ages 8 through 17.
axillary hair
hair under the armpits.
body image
how we see ourselves in our own mind.
bulimia
an eating disorder characterized by periods of uncontrolled overeating usually followed by vomiting or the use of laxatives to avoid gaining weight.
chronic
long-lasting illness.
chronological age
how old you are or how many years you have lived.
development
growing, as well as improving the function of a particular organ or part of the body.
developmental age
how developed you are in a psychological and biological sense at a given time.
dysmenorrhea
menstrual cramps.
ejaculation
a sudden discharge of semen.
endocrine glands
glands that produce hormones.
endurance
ability to exercise hard, for a long time, and recover from the effects of exercise quickly.
environment
everything around us, or the world in which we live.
estrogen
a hormone that plays an important role in the sexual maturation, menstrual cycle, and reproduction.
exocrine glands
a gland such as a sweat gland that releases a secretion, through a duct.
follicle
in the ovary, a small cavity that contains a developing egg.
follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH)
a hormone produced by the pituitary gland that flows through the bloodstream and is picked up by the gonads. FSH stimulates an egg, or ovum, to mature in its follicle, or sac, in the female. In the male, FSH stimulates the production of sperm cells in the testes.
gender
maleness or femaleness.
gender identity
how you see yourself as masculine or feminine.
gender role
how society expects you to behave because of being male or female.
gene
a segment or a piece of DNA that codes for a specific trait.
genitals
external sex organs.
gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH)
a hormone produced by the hypothalamus that acts on the pituitary gland to release FSH and LH.
gonadotropins (FSH and LH)
hormones that control the gonads. The gonads, in turn, produce their own hormones.
gonads
reproductive glands that produce sex cells (either eggs or sperm) and secrete hormones.
growth
an increase in size.
growth hormone (GH)
an important hormone produced by the pituitary that makes the body's bones and tissues grow larger.
heredity
the process of passing on traits and variations from one generation to the next.
hormones
chemical substances that the body's various systems need to perform their functions.
hypothalamus
a portion of the brain that controls the pituitary gland, located right above the pituitary. It is part of the nervous system as well as part of the endocrine system.
larynx
voice box.
life cycle
stages in life that are predictable and repeated in each generation.
luteinizing hormone (LH)
a hormone produced by the pituitary gland that flows through the bloodstream and is picked up by the gonads. In the male, LH acts on cells that are between tiny tubes where sperm are produced, causing the cells to produce testosterone, which helps develop pubic hair and build muscle.
masturbation
self-stimulation of the genitals.
maturation
a word commonly used to describe the development of physical, emotional, and behavioral characteristics through the growth process.
menarche
a girl's first period.
menopause
a stage reached when a woman no longer has menstrual periods and can no longer bear children.
menstruation
the flow of blood, or the shedding of the lining of the uterus, from the vagina once a month.
nervous system
the brain, spinal cord, and nerves.
nocturnal emissions
semen ejaculated from the penis during sleep.
normal development
a function of averages, a range within which most individuals develop in specific ways.
ovaries
the female reproductive organs that produce eggs and sex hormones.
ovulation
time when the egg bursts out of the wall of the ovary.
peers
a group of people who are alike in age or grade level.
penis
the male organ through which sperm is delivered and through which urination occurs.
physical environment
the air we breathe, the food we eat, the sun that shines on us, and all else we come into contact with, whether or not we are aware of it.
pituitary gland
a pea-sized gland that produces many hormones, including some of the hormones of puberty, located near the base of the brain.
premenstrual tension syndrome (PMS)
symptoms that occur several days before menstruation, such as slight swelling of hands and legs, a bloated feeling in the abdomen, temporary weight gain, and headache. Other symptoms of PMS may be psychological, including moodiness, irritability, anger, trouble concentrating, and lack of energy.
progesterone
a hormone that plays an important role in sexual maturation, the menstrual cycle, and reproduction.
proportion
the relation of one part to another or to the whole in relation to quantity, magnitude, size, or degree.
psychological changes
changes in how we think, feel, and behave as we become more mature.
puberty
a period of time during which physical growth and development that lead to sexual maturity take place.
pubic hair
hair around the sex organs.
receptors
located either within the cell or on the cell surface that recognize and bind with hormones.
reproduce
produce off spring.
scrotum
the sac-like structure that contains the testes.
secondary sexual characteristics
characteristics that do not directly involve the reproductive organs themselves but indicate sexual maturity and distinguish male from female.
self-esteem
how you feel about yourself, or how you value yourself.
semen
a whitish fluid of the male reproductive system consisting of sperm and nutrient fluids.
sex-discrimination law
a law that says that men and women cannot be denied access to jobs, areas of study in school, sports, or other life opportunities on the basis of their sex.
social environment
the people with whom we interact.
sperm
the male sex cell.
steroids
a group of organic compounds that include the sex hormones.
stress
feelings of anxiety.
testes
male organs where sperm cells and sex hormones are produced.
testosterone
a hormone that helps develop pubic hair and build muscle.
toxic shock syndrome
a condition associated with tampon use. Symptoms include high fever, vomiting, muscle aches, and a rash that looks like sunburn.
uterus
a female organ for containing and nourishing the embryo during development previous to birth (also called a womb).

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