Healthy Transitions to Adulthood

Is it right to teach human reproduction in class 8 and 10?

Every individual, has the right to get accurate, age appropriate and scientific information about physical and psychological development and changes, including sexual development. With research from all over the world showing  that puberty is advancing, it becomes all the more important to teach adolescents and young people about the human biological system as it enables them to better understand their experiences and clarify several myths and misconceptions attached to it. Having an accurate and comprehensive understanding about human reproduction makes them take more responsible decisions.

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manishprivet808@gmail.com

Why do we, teenagers, tend to develop a liking towards opposite sex?/Why at certain age students feels attraction towards others?

It is not only boys, but girls also get attracted to the opposite sex. Getting attracted to the opposite sex in adolescence is a normal and natural phenomenon. The female hormone, oestrogen is mainly responsible for the changes that occur in females while the male hormone testosterone is mainly responsible for the changes in males. All these changes are highly correlated with sexual development, as during adolescence significant physical changes take place in terms of development of secondary sexual characteristics. Any adolescent is curious and wants to find out more about the opposite sex which is perfectly healthy and normal. Although you may feel hesitant, you should talk to your parents or to a mature person about any queries you might have. Do not be embarrassed, as everyone; including the elders around you have gone through a similar phase. The more information you gather from authentic websites like www.aeparc.org on growing up, the less mysterious the subject will be. 

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moheynikita13@gmail.com, sharmahemant108@yahoo.com

How to stop bad habits related to internet?

Good habits are indeed part of a safety net. Hobbies such as reading books, music, sports, yoga, helping others or anything else that interests and inspires you can be a good stress buster and can rejuvenate an individual to focus on other responsibilities that s/he may have. Staying connected with friends, colleagues, family and relatives is good. Connecting on social networking sites like face book during the day is not harmful, but  you need to take stock of whether you are spending far too much time and neglecting other responsibilities that you have. This is true for any hobby you may have. You need to strike a balance!

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abhishek.choudhury1001@gmail.com

What all courses can I take up after 12th if I'm a Science student also having Math as a subject?

It is essential that you take a logical and scientific approach towards stream selection after your 12th examination. It is important to know what you are interested in and what the possible career paths that you are considering are. Most students suffer from under performance, de-motivation or loss of interest only because they get into a stream that they are not interested in. Too many young people feel pressured into making a choice before they are really sure of what they want to do later in their lives. There are various factors that contribute towards a successful career. One of the first considerations is a realistic and informed subject choice. Analyse your strengths and weaknesses in a particular subject. You need to gather as much information as possible that is required in a particular stream, talk to teachers and experts in that area and take a sensible decision for selecting the stream you are considering. It may be a good idea to talk to some of your role models to better understand the realities of the choices that you are considering.

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dashprerana16@gmail.com

How to avoid attraction from girls/How can I avoid girls?

Friendships are gender neutral relationships. Rather than defining friendships by the sex of the friend, trust, mutual respect and honesty are the core elements of meaningful and positive friendships.  In any relationship, it is important to assess our feelings and communicate them honestly. Self-confidence and assertiveness are essential for maintaining positive relationships. Good friends enable us to discover our strengths, identify our weaknesses and help us to overcome them.  In most situations, feelings should be recognised rather than pretending they do not exist. Repressing feelings or pretending they do not exist can lead to frustration, anger and/or depression. At the same time, over-indulgence in feelings is also unhealthy, and can create many serious problems in life. We need to learn how to handle our feelings in a balanced way. 

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Prasanghwasekar@rediffmail.com,iitianajitesh13@gmail.com

Why do girls throw sanitary napkins in the toilets? Why don't they dispose them at the proper place? What is the solution?

Good genital hygiene is particularly important for girls and women during periods. They may use sanitary napkins, or cloth. One should always use a clean sanitary napkin that should be changed frequently (every four to six hours) to prevent infections. If a cloth is used which needs to be reused, it should be washed thoroughly and disinfected by drying in the sun. Sanitary napkins should never be flushed down the toilet because it may clog the drainage system and lead to flooding of the toilet. After use, the sanitary pad should be wrapped in a newspaper or any waste paper and put in a garbage bin. It is also necessary to dispose of the contents of the garbage bin promptly because if the sanitary pad is left in the garbage bin for a long time, it will decay and emit a foul smell. It is therefore important to keep the garbage bin covered to prevent any foul smell from spreading in one’s house/ school and to dispose of the garbage promptly to prevent spread of diseases carried by flies and other insects that gather around these garbage bins. Schools should organize programmes related to maintenance of hygiene, focusing on this on a regular basis.

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mookammalchelliah@gmail.com

What is nocturnal emission?

Nocturnal emission is the release of semen from the body during sleep among boys.  Many people also call it as night fall or wet dreams. Although most adolescent boys experience nocturnal emission during their puberty, it is not necessary that all should experience this. Nocturnal emission sometimes has a purely physiological basis. It is not necessarily accompanied by sexual feelings or dreams. It is completely normal and natural, nothing to be frightened, guilty or embarrassed about.

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snjnvk69@gmail.com

I’m 16 years old girl. I like someone. He also likes me so much. But I want to leave all these things for future. But I want true friendship and understanding between us. What should I do to make him understand my thinking?

Attraction and romantic feelings are a normal part of adolescence growing up. Love and relationships are gender neutral relations. In any relationship trust, mutual respect and honesty are core elements. It is important to assess the feelings and communicate them honestly. Self-confidence and assertiveness are essential for maintaining positive relationships. Good friends enable us to discover our strengths, identify our weaknesses and help us to overcome them.  In most situations, feelings should be recognised rather than pretending they do not exist. Repressing feelings or pretending they do not exist can lead to frustration, anger and/or depression. It is also important to remember that feelings cannot be imposed on anyone. One should be willing to express one’s feelings sincerely. However, the other person is free to respond based on his/ her feelings. At the same time, over-indulgence in feelings is also unhealthy, and can create many serious problems in life. We need to learn how to handle our feelings in a balanced way. However, as a young person, you may also explore interests and activities such as sports, fine arts, social service and hobbies that will develop one’s overall personality and strike a healthy balance in life.

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hritika2899@gmail.com

Is it good to have a love relationship in school life?

Friendship is a  gender neutral relationship. Rather than defining friendship by the sex of the friend, trust, mutual respect and honesty should be  the core  of the relationship.   In any relationship, it is important to assess ones feelings and communicate them honestly and at the same time honoring the socio- cultural boundaries. It is also important to understand one’s responsibility. Self-confidence and assertiveness are essential for maintaining positive relationships. Good friends enable us to discover our strengths, identify our weaknesses and help us to overcome them.  In most situations, feelings should be recognised rather than pretending they do not exist. Repressing feelings or pretending they do not exist can lead to frustration, anger and/or depression. At the same time, over-indulgence in feelings is also unhealthy, and can create many serious problems in life. As a young person you should explore interest in studies and also need to learn how to handle ones  feelings and relationships in a balanced way. 

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prachi.punctual99@gmail.com

How can I create interest in studies, because I feel lazy when I want to study? How can I get rid of laziness and continue to study for long time at night?

You need to make plans and set a goal which is realistic for yourself and as per your capability and interest.  Try and give importance to yourself and feel good about what you do. Utilise your positive traits in a productive way. Identify the factors which distract you from studies. You will be able to avoid the lethargy once you become aware of it.  It is also important to appreciate the good qualities in others and learn from them. You can consult your parents, teachers, or any other person you rely on and discuss this issue with them for advice. You are advised to engage in physical activity like sports and can do yoga in the morning.  You may also consult a doctor to find out any medical reasons for your laziness. It is important to recognize your positive attributes and strengths and work on it further.

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kumarvishwas42@yahoo.com

If the family members are harassing us what should we do?

From your question, it is not clear what do you want to say in terms of harassment. During adolescence, almost all adolescents develop a strong sense of identity and have strong views about many issues. They may not always agree with their parents and other adults around them. This may lead to conflict between adolescents and their parents and family members. Adolescents should recognize that it is not necessary to agree with their parents or anyone else on everything, however, they must learn to express their thoughts and feelings and communicate them in a clear, honest and respectful manner without putting down either themselves or the other person/s. It is important to understand that they may have a point of view just as you have. Their thinking is naturally influenced by the rigorous modes of behaviour instilled in them during their own childhood. Adolescents, on the other hand, tend to behave in a manner which appears to be in contrast to the prevailing normal behaviour of adults. Parents also need to recognise that adolescence is a period of sudden and rapid growth and development among children. Parents should not feel that their adolescent child is disrespecting them. It is necessary for parents to encourage and guide adolescents on how they can take independent decisions in respect of various aspects of their life.

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palrai171997@gmail.com

What is peer pressure?

It has been observed that young people are highly influenced by their peers and mimic their behaviors.  In many instances, young people are influenced by their peers to experiment with cigarettes, alcohol and other harmful substances. Peer pressure can be managed by being aware of the implications of drug abuse and developing skills to manage peer pressure. Young people should also be educated to recognize that a friend is someone who cares, protects and looks after the welfare of their friends rather than coerce them/ initiate them into unhealthy habits. Negative peer pressure may result in risky behaviour. Positive peer pressure can show up as support for each other in developing their talents, hobbies or non-normative behaviour such as boys doing housework or adolescent girls playing sports. Recent research with school-going adolescents indicates strong influence or such positive peer pressure (Concurrent evaluation AEP, 2011).

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guptauk70@gmail.com

I am 17 yrs old, but there are not many changes in my physical appearance, I look like 13-14 yrs old so what should I do?

Everyone matures and goes through changes in adolescence. All changes related to adolescence (physical, emotional, psycho-social and cognitive) do not take place at the same time and in the same way for everyone. Some people mature early, others later. As a result, it is possible that physical changes may take place early, but psycho-social changes take place later in the same individual. It may also happen the other way around. Two adolescents of the same age may have different levels of maturity, experiencing changes at varying pace. You are advised to do regular exercise and take nutritious food including green vegetables. 

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abhinavsingh.300bc@gmail.com

Are having friends necessary during adolescence?

It is not necessary for everyone to have friends; however there is no harm in having friends. Friendships are gender neutral relationships. Trust, mutual respect and honesty are the core elements of meaningful and positive friendships.  Good friends can show up as support for each other in developing their talents, hobbies or non-normative behavior such as boys doing housework or adolescent girls playing sports. In many occasions in life, friends enable us to discover our strengths, identify our weaknesses and help us to overcome them.

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rishi.bffs@gmail.com

Why our minds change during adolescence?

During adolescence, as one attains sexual physical, emotional, mental maturity as one reaching towards adolescence to adulthood. These developments are a natural part of growing up process. 

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anagha.mary.7@gmail.com

Why we teenagers attract toward girls and other wrong things?

It is not only boys, but girls also get attracted to opposite sex. Getting attracted to the opposite sex in adolescence is a normal and natural phenomenon. The female hormone, oestrogen is mainly responsible for the changes in the females while the male hormone testosterone is mainly responsible for the changes in the males. All these changes are highly correlated with sexual development, as during adolescence significant physical changes take place in terms of development of secondary sexual characteristics. Adolescent does want to find out more about the opposite sex which is perfectly healthy and normal. Although you may feel hesitant, you should talk to your parents or to a matured person about any queries you might have. Do not be embarrassed, as everyone; including the elders around you have gone through a similar phase. The more information you collect on growing up from authentic sources, the less mysterious the subject will remain to you.

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shrotriyashivam1997@gmail.com

I am in class 11, why do parents and teachers always doubt on us?

Yours is not an exceptional problem. Almost all adolescents develop a strong sense of identity and have strong views about issues. They may not always agree with their parents and other adults around them. This may lead to conflict between adolescents and their parents. Adolescents should recognize that it is not necessary to agree with their parents or anyone else on everything. However, they must learn to express their thoughts and feelings to communicate in a clear, honest and respectful manner without putting down either themselves or the other person/s. Parents are likely to have some similar experiences as the adolescents of today. Discussing issues would help them feel connected and reduce the `generation gap’. Even when the experiences are different, it can be interesting to know about and understand what has shaped the different views and thoughts of people in different generations. However, you must try to understand that they may have a point of view just as you have. Their thinking is naturally influenced by the rigorous modes of behaviour instilled in them during their own childhood. Adolescents on the other hand tend to behave in a manner which appears to be in contrast to the prevailing normal behaviour of adults.

 

Parents have to recognise that adolescence is a period of sudden and rapid growth and development among children. Adolescents develop a tendency to assert their identity, start taking their own decisions. Parents should not feel that their adolescent child is disrespecting them. They should respect the independent identity of adolescents. It is necessary for parents to encourage and guide adolescents on how they can take independent decisions in respect of various aspects of their life. 

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anishaastar1@gmail.com

I am talented, but I am being discouraged often. What should I do?

You should try to have an assertive communication with person/s disrespecting you. But before you have the conversation you must self-introspect and identify your positive qualities, and utilise those traits in a productive way. Awareness of positive traits and qualities will make you feel good and will enhance your self-esteem. You can also consult your parents, teachers, any other person whom you trust and have a discussion. Feel good and give importance to yourself. Inculcate feelings of positivity, feel good about yourself and things will be better for you. It is also important to recognize that nobody can be good at everything. Try to develop your qualities and also focus on taking care of your weaknesses. 

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shubhamkumar.sk7@gmail.com

What is sex?

Sex is biologically determined and is either male or female. Adolescence begins with the onset of puberty. Hormonal changes initiate the physical and physiological changes in the body. The female hormone, oestrogen is mainly responsible for the changes in females while the male hormone testosterone is mainly responsible for the changes in males. All these changes are highly correlated with sexual development, as during this period significant physical changes take place in terms of development of secondary sexual characteristics. Although you may feel hesitant, you should talk to your parents or to a matured person about any queries you might have related to your body and growing up. Do not be embarrassed, as everyone; including the elders around you have gone through a similar phase. The more information you collect on sex from authentic sources, the less mysterious the subject will seem to you. 

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kumar.sujit927@gmail.com

I am very confused, since I don't know what should I study in 11thclass?

Choosing a career is a matter of great joy and responsibility. It is important that you spend sufficient time in exploring your interests and finding out enough about the possible career choices that you may have so that you take an informed decision and are comfortable with the choice you make. We would recommend that first you think through the reasons you want to make a particular career choice and then share your views with your parents, friend/ sibling.  You can also consult professional career counsellors and seek their advice. There are several young people who face similar dilemmas. It is important to present your preferences of career choice before your parents, teachers and well-wishers. You need to make plans and set a goal which is realistic for yourself considering your capabilities and interest.

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upadhyaypratiksha20@gmail.com

Why is talking with girls in public seen as taboo?

Both boys and girls should be treated equally. In the socialisation process, gender based stereotypes dictate certain kinds of behaviour and practices which are prevalent in society.  Qualities like bravery, shyness, weakness and strength are not ‘male’ or ‘female’. Qualities don’t have a gender. A woman can be strong, a man can be shy. Society promotes certain notions about masculine or feminine qualities. These messages are present in many things around us, in the songs we hear, the movies we watch, the games we play, the books we read. Family members, neighbours and even friends can give us these messages about how girls and boys should behave. For example, a boy who is crying is likely to hear ‘boys don’t cry’ from family as well as friends. These ideas are called gender stereotypes and are reinforced by socialization. There is a need to change mindsets to respect women in the society. The attitude towards women needs to be altered only then we can expect gender equality in the real sense of the word. 

 

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vaishnu28@gmail.com

I am a student of class 11; I am underweight (38 kg) & short in height (5feet)? Please suggest me what should I do?

Everyone matures and goes through changes in adolescence. All changes related to adolescence (physical, emotional, psycho-social and cognitive) do not take place at the same time and in the same way for everyone. Some people mature early, others later.. As a result, it is possible that physical changes may take place early, but psycho-social changes take place later in the same individual. It may also happen the other way around. Two adolescents of the same age may have different levels of maturity, experiencing changes at varying pace. You are advised to do regular exercise and take nutritious food including green vegetables. 

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sudeekshanegi@yahoo.in

Is it compulsory to stay clean in winter seasons?

Keeping your body clean is an important part of keeping healthy and helping you to feel good about yourself. Caring about the way you look is important to your self-esteem. With a clean body, clean hair, clean clothes and shoes, you will feel good and your friends will be happy to be in your company.  Also, genitals should be treated like any other part of the body and should be cleaned daily.

 

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maimunaid12@gmail.com

My interest in studies is diminishing. How can I develop my habit of studying properly?

You need to make plans and set a goal which is realistic for yourself and as per your capability.  Try and give importance to yourself and feel good about what you do. Utilise your positive traits in a productive way. Identify the factors which distract you from the study. You will be able to avoid the distraction once you become aware of it.  You can consult your parents, teachers, or any other person you rely on and discuss this issue with them for advice. It is important to recognize that nobody can be good at everything. It is also important to appreciate the good qualities in others and learn from them. 

 

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vedant.tiwari.2409@gmail.com

Why love relationship among adolescents is considered a disgrace in Indian society?

In Indian society, parents and teachers usually have high expectations from their children and students only in academic performance. This is normally so because they feel that academic excellence alone can enable young people live a good life while love and other relationships in adolescents will distract them from achieving their goal. When they find that their ward is deviating from academics, they get concerned and often times resort to punishing them either verbally or physically.  While parents perceive punishment as the only way of bringing the child back to focus on academic performance, adolescents feel hurt and disappointed. Many of them may even get discouraged and take an even lesser interest in academia and life. Adolescents and their parents and teachers should interact more so that they appreciate one another’s concerns and understand each other better. 

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danishsumo@gmail.com

Why boys/girls are attracted to opposite sex during adolescence?

Getting attracted to the opposite sex in adolescence is a normal and natural phenomenon. The female hormone, oestrogen is mainly responsible for the changes in the females while the male hormone testosterone is mainly responsible for the changes in the males. All these changes are highly correlated with sexual development, as during adolescence significant physical changes take place in terms of development of secondary sexual characteristics. Adolescent does want to find out more about the opposite sex which is perfectly healthy and normal. Although you may feel hesitant, you should talk to your parents or to a matured person about any queries you might have. Do not be embarrassed, as everyone; including the elders around you have gone through a similar phase. The more information you collect on sex from authentic sources, the less mysterious the subject will seem to you.

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komalakumarit.rajan@gmail.com

How do I know that a girl/boy is interested in me?

Being attracted to the opposite sex and wanting to find out more about them are perfectly healthy and normal for any person in the adolescence age. Boys and girls can be friends and enable one another to improve upon themselves. There can also be feelings of attraction between girls and boys. However, feelings cannot be imposed on anyone. Trust, mutual respect and honesty are the core elements of friendship.  In any relationship, it is important to assess our feelings and communicate them honestly. Self-confidence and assertiveness are essential for maintaining positive relationships. Good friends enable us to discover our strengths, identify our weaknesses and help us to overcome them.  In most situations, feelings should be recognised rather than pretending they do not exist. Repressing feelings or pretending they do not exist can lead to frustration, anger and/or depression. At the same time, over-indulgence in feelings is also unhealthy, and can create many serious problems in life. We need to learn how to handle our feelings in a balanced way. 

 

Email (Question Box): 
k.shubham84@yahoo.in

Very often I lose my concentration and divert myself very towards laptop, TV. Please suggest me a good time table for reading normal subjects?

As boys and girls grow up they experience rapid physical growth and development that are accompanied by marked psycho-social and emotional changes. Many adolescents get carried away during this stage of growing up and are unable to concentrate and focus on their studies. You need to make plans and set a goal which is realistic for yourself considering your capabilities. Feel good and give importance to yourself. Utilise your positive traits in a productive way. Identify the factors which distract you from the study, try to avoid them. You can consult your parents, teachers, any other person whom you rely on and have a discussion. Inculcate feelings of positivity, feel good about yourself and things will be better for you. It is also important to recognize that nobody can be good at everything. Recognize your qualities and weaknesses further develop your qualities and also focus on taking care of your weaknesses. It is important to appreciate the good qualities in others and learn from them. You are the best judge and best planner for yourself. You have to help yourself to find out how you can utilize your time for an optimum balance of fun and work.

 

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padmavathisplr@gmail.com

Can boys and girls be friends in the class?

Physical attraction to the opposite sex is a part of growing up. It is natural and normal. Friendships are gender neutral relationships. Trust, mutual respect and honesty are the core elements of meaningful and positive friendships.  In any relationship, it is important to assess our feelings and communicate them honestly. Self-confidence and assertiveness are essential for maintaining positive relationships. However, over-indulgence in feelings is also unhealthy, and can create many serious problems in life. Good friends enable us to discover our strengths, identify our weaknesses and help us to overcome them.  In most situations, feelings should be recognised rather than pretending they do not exist. Repressing feelings or pretending they do not exist can lead to frustration, anger and/or depression. It is also important to remember that feelings cannot be imposed on anyone. One should be willing to express one’s feelings sincerely. However, the other person is free to respond based on his/ her feelings. We need to learn how to handle our feelings in a balanced way. However, as a young person, you may also explore interests and activities such as sports, fine arts, social service and hobbies that will develop one’s overall personality and strike a healthy balance in life.

 

Email (Question Box): 
shanmugapriyasureshviji@gmail.com

How does breast develop in boys?

Everyone matures and goes through the changes in adolescence; this does not take place at the same time and in the same way for everyone. Physical changes take place in all boys and girls. Breast development is one of the first signs of puberty among girls. In boys too the breast develops. Sometimes the breast can become prominent; however, this eventually will subside on its own. However, if there is an unusual enlargement of the male breast, it is advisable to consult a doctor.  

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kamaljhanu@gmail.com

Why do physical changes take place during adolescence?

As we grow we experience many changes in our life. Growth and maturation are a continuous process and adolescence is a stage in the continuum of growth and development across the life span. Everyone matures and goes through the changes in adolescence; this does not take place at the same time and in the same way for everyone. Physical changes take place in all boys and girls, but they start at different times.  Two adolescents of the same age may have different levels of maturity, experiencing changes at varying pace.  Physical changes in girls include growth of breasts, rounding of hips due to fat deposition, the growth of pubic hair and starting of menstruation, commonly known as periods. A boy’s voice gets deeper, his muscles develop and his chest gets broader.  Hair starts to grow under his arms and on his legs and face.  During this time, his reproductive organs will also grow. Boys will start to have erections and may have wet dreams or nocturnal emissions.

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kaushikkaushik11@gmail.com

I am attracted to a boy and he too is. I understand that what I am doing is not appropriate to my age, but how to overcome the confusion? Am I in danger?

Attraction and romantic feelings are a normal part of adolescence growing up. Love and relationships are gender neutral relations. In any relationship trust, mutual respect and honesty are core elements. It is important to assess the feelings and communicate them honestly. Self-confidence and assertiveness are essential for maintaining positive relationships. Good friends enable us to discover our strengths, identify our weaknesses and help us to overcome them.  In most situations, feelings should be recognised rather than pretending they do not exist. Repressing feelings or pretending they do not exist can lead to frustration, anger and/or depression. It is also important to remember that feelings cannot be imposed on anyone. One should be willing to express one’s feelings sincerely. However, the other person is free to respond based on his/ her feelings. At the same time, over-indulgence in feelings is also unhealthy, and can create many serious problems in life. We need to learn how to handle our feelings in a balanced way. However, as a young person, you may also explore interests and activities such as sports, fine arts, social service and hobbies that will develop one’s overall personality and strike a healthy balance in life.

 

Email (Question Box): 
gopika123nn@gmail.com

How to control adolescent temptation?

During adolescence, we experience a range of emotions from positive to negative, for example happiness, enthusiasm, satisfaction, sadness, anger, frustration etc. It is normal to feel both positive and negative emotions and it is important to be aware of one’s feelings and emotions. Our body releases adrenaline hormone that is usually released as a physical response to stress. Positive ways of handling stress can help harness the additional adrenaline. It is necessary to express these emotions but there are both positive and negative ways of expression. Positive (healthy) ways of responding to stressful situations help decrease the negative emotion(s) and may also help in analysing the situation, understanding its causes and perhaps avoiding it in future or coping with it better. Each person is unique and has different capabilities that should be valued. Hence, every individual should determine their own threshold limits and not stress themselves beyond it in situations including studies, sports, work or any other activity. At the same time, it is important for each of us to try to perform to the best of our abilities.

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srirsy@gmail.com

How can I overcome my urge for sex sometimes?

During the process of growing up, certain hormonal changes occur. The female hormone, oestrogen is mainly responsible for the changes in females while the male hormone testosterone is mainly responsible for the changes in males. It is a proven fact that masturbation is neither unhealthy nor dangerous. It is completely normal and natural, nothing to be frightened, guilty or embarrassed about.However, as a young person, it is also important to explore interests and activities such as sports, fine arts, social service that will develop one’s overall personality and strike a healthy balance in life.​

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adikocharadi@gmail.com

Does masturbation (in males) cause any bad effect on our studies or thinking ability?

You are going through the adolescence phase where physical, mental and emotional changes occur naturally. . These changes occur in all adolescents though at different pace and timing.  It is a proven fact that masturbation is neither unhealthy nor dangerous. The loss of semen through a wet dream or masturbation does not lead to weakness. The sperms and the semen are replenished in the body regularly. However, as a young person, it is important to explore interests and activities such as sports, fine arts, social service that will develop one’s overall personality and strike a healthy balance in life. 

Email (Question Box): 
mridulgoyal1997@gmail.com

Why many are not able to concentrate on studies during adolescence?

As boys and girls grow up, they experience rapid physical growth and development that are accompanied by marked psycho-social and emotional changes. They start getting concerned about their appearance and develop a physical attraction and curiosity about sexual matters. They become inclined to try out new ideas. This is an age of experimentation and learning new things. They start extending their relationships beyond family and make a special place for peers. They develop a strong sense of selfhood and have their own views and feelings about various issues that may not always be in agreement with their parents/ elders.  Many adolescents get carried away during this stage of growing up and are unable to concentrate and focus on their studies.   

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kirubaspy@gmail.com

Does the human sperm limited?

During the onset of puberty, the male testes continuously produce sperms generating billions in the course of an adult’s lifetime. The sperms and the semen are replenished in the body regularly.

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amarendrasamanta98@gmail.com

Why are teachers hesitant to teach the reproductions and sex organs in humans clearly?

Hesitation or unwillingness on the part of teachers in teaching reproduction and sex organs in humans during classroom transaction may be due to lack of training or their socialisation process.   This being a sensitive topic, the teacher is being cautious and does not directly talk about it. Based on the level of maturity of the learners, the teacher should introduce the topic by organising question box activity. The teacher should encourage the learners to put questions into the box. Quite often a participatory approach in responding is also useful by asking learners who think they know the answers respond to them Teachers should be open to their students about the topic and develop a rapport with them that would help create a comfort level enabling them to enquire further and get the accurate and age appropriate information. The experience of AEP shows that teachers who have been trained are better able and comfortable talking about these issues. 

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ghjkjkl2@gmail.com

I am getting attracted to my female/male classmates, what should I do?

Attraction and romantic feelings are a normal part of growing up. Boys and girls can be friends and can also feel attracted towards one another.  Whatever be the relationship, it is important to assess one's feelings and communicate them honestly. However, feelings cannot be imposed on anyone. The other person is free to respond based on his/ her feelings. Repressing feelings or pretending they do not exist can give rise to chronic frustration, anger and/or depression. At the same time, over-indulgence in feelings is also unhealthy, and can create many serious problems in life. We need to learn how to handle our feelings in a balanced way.

Email (Question Box): 
amrit.mohapatra@yahoo.com

How to handle problematic children in schools and at home?

While it is challenging to watch adolescents grow up, it is critical for their well-being and for a healthy relationship with them, to respect their independence during these years.  They develop a strong sense of selfhood and have their own views and feelings about various issues that may not always be in agreement with their parents and are termed ‘problematic’. It is important for us as adults to understand the changes occurring in them during the process of growing up. During adolescence, they experience a range of positive to negative emotions - happiness, enthusiasm, satisfaction, sadness, anger, frustration etc. While these years could be a source of frustration and exasperation, they also bring moments of joy, pride and closeness.

As adults, we need to empower adolescents to develop positive (healthy) ways of responding to stressful situations and help them to reduce negative emotion(s). Parents will find it valuable if they interact with their adolescent children as equals, listen to them, respect their opinions, trust them and provide the rationale for their suggestions rather than talking them down. Communicating with them may help them analyse situations, understand its causes and help them cope with issues better. 

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chetan.parmanik@gmail.com

Why adolescents are generally short tempered?

During adolescence, we experience a range of emotions from positive to negative, for example happiness, enthusiasm, satisfaction, sadness, anger, frustration etc. As we have high expectations from ourselves that are further reinforced by people around us, there are many occasions to get stressed, feel angry or frustrated. It is normal to feel both positive and negative emotions and it is important to be aware of one’s feelings and emotions. Although one should not bottle up one’s emotions but there are both positive and negative ways of expression. Positive (healthy) ways of responding to stressful situations help decrease the negative emotion(s) and may also help us in analysing the situation, understanding its causes and perhaps avoiding it in future or coping with it better. Adrenaline hormone is usually released in our body as a physical response to stress. Positive ways of handling stress can help harness the additional adrenaline. Each person is unique and has different capabilities that should be valued. Hence, every individual should determine their own threshold limits and not stress themselves beyond it in situations including studies, sports, work or any other activity. At the same time, it is important for each of us to try to perform to the best of our abilities.

 

 

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gkhere@ymail.com

Why girls do not have equal rights compared to boys?

Actually both boys and girls should be treated equally. In the socialisation process gender based stereotypes dictate certain kind of behaviour and practices which are prevalent in society.  Qualities like bravery, shyness, weakness and strength are not ‘male’ or ‘female’. Qualities don’t have a gender. A woman can be strong, a man can be shy. Society promotes certain notions about masculine or feminine qualities. These messages are present in many things around us, in the songs we hear, the movies we watch, the games we play, the books we read. Family members, neighbours and even friends can give us these messages about how girls and boys should behave. For example, a boy who is crying is likely to hear ‘boys don’t cry’ from family as well as friends. These ideas are called gender stereotypes and are reinforced by socialization. There is a need to change mind sets to respect women in the society. The attitude towards women needs to be altered only then we can expect gender equality in the real sense of the word. 

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sisookvpattom@gmail.com

If we talk freely with girls about sex, doesn't it motivate to go for sex in practical life?

As a student you have the right to accurate, age appropriate and scientific information about physical, psychological, and sexual development. Research from all over the world has shown that knowing about these issues and discussing them enables young people to better understand their experiences and clarify many myths and misconceptions. Hence, they make more responsible decisions.

 

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gkishansir@gmail.com

Why do girls only get periods?

Biologically only girls/ women can get periods. Menstrual periods are a natural change during adolescence and signify that the girl is attaining reproductive maturity and can become pregnant. Having menstrual periods is symbolic of a woman’s ability to reproduce which need to be universally respected. Menstruation is a normal, healthy process. Physical maturity or puberty in girls occurs when she starts ovulating, that is, an ovum (egg) ripens and is released from her ovaries every month. After a few days (approximately 14 days) of ovulation, the ovum flows out of the body along with some blood. This is menstruation. It is more important to maintain good genital hygiene. 

 

Email (Question Box): 
vaishnavibalureddy@gmail.com

How to become fair in boys?

Through this question, you want to know the importance of fairness of skin. The size, shape, colour of skin, height and some other characteristics of the body are mainly determined by heredity conditions and natural environment. The formation of the body image is influenced by the socio cultural factors. But we need not suffer from inferiority complex because of our looks.

 

It is important to develop a positive acceptance of oneself.  You should have strong self esteem to celebrate your uniqueness rather than be forced to mimic certain images perpetuated by society and media. Externally determined standards should not negatively affect your confidence and self-image.

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khanehsan04@gmail.com

Is marriage compulsory for a boy/girl?

Marriage is not compulsory; it’s one’s personal matter to decide in life. 

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nidhir1989@gmail.com

In adolescence, what is a boy's feeling towards a girl?

Boys and girls can be friends who are well wishers and enable one another to improve upon themselves. There can also be feelings of attraction between girls and boys. However, feelings cannot be imposed on anyone. As an adolescent, one could express his/her feelings respectfully and sincerely to the person you would like to become friends with. However, the other person is free to respond based on his/ her feelings.

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hkhichi2012@gmail.com

I am a class 10 student. I think that I am in love with a boy who is doing his B.Sc. I am sure that it will not affect my studies as I got A1 in all subjects in the first exam. Is my feeling wrong?

Attraction and romantic feelings are a part of normal part of adolescence growing up. Love and relationships are gender neutral relations. In any relationship trust, mutual respect and honesty are the core elements. It is important to assess the feelings and communicate them honestly. Self-confidence and assertiveness are essential for maintaining positive relationships. Good friends enable us to discover our strengths, identify our weaknesses and help us to overcome them.  In most situations, feelings should be recognised rather than pretending they do not exist. Repressing feelings or pretending they do not exist can lead to frustration, anger and/or depression. It is also important to remember that feelings cannot be imposed on anyone. One should be willing to express one’s feelings sincerely. However, the other person is free to respond based on his/ her feelings. At the same time, over-indulgence in feelings is also unhealthy, and can create many serious problems in life. We need to learn how to handle our feelings in a balanced way. 

 

Email (Question Box): 
arundhathi.nair@yahoo.co.in

I am not good in studies and I want to be good at everything especially in studies, how can get good marks? Please help me

You need to make plans and set a goal which is realistic for yourself considering your capabilities. Feel good and give importance to yourself. Utilise your positive traits in a productive way. Identify the factors which distract you from study, try to avoid them. You can consult your parents, teachers, any other person whom you rely on and have a discussion. Inculcate feelings of positivity, feel good about yourself and things will be better for you. It is also important to recognize that nobody can be good at everything. Recognize your qualities and weaknesses further develop your qualities and also focus on taking care of your weaknesses. It is important to appreciate the good qualities in others and learn from them. 

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sagarnilmj@gmail.com

I have the habit of watching pornography, how can I stop it?

As one reaches adolescence, different aspects of one's identity gain prominence, including sexual identity. It is also natural to be curious about issues related to sex as authentic and accurate information on the subject is not always easily available. Although you may feel hesitant, you could talk to an elder and mature person about any queries you might have. Do not be embarrassed, as everyone around you, including your elders has gone through a similar phase. The more information you collect on sex from authentic source, the less mysterious the subject will seem to you. Cheap literature, information from peers or pornography may not have the accurate answers that will satisfy your curiosity. Also, identifying some other areas of interest will be helpful in developing other aspects of your personality. Make friends with people who are your well wishers. Identify a role model and if possible, try to find out how this person lived through their adolescence and youth. It may inspire you!

Email (Question Box): 
aeparc2014@gmail.com

Why does having crush on an opposite sex make our heart beat faster and breathing fast?

It is a physical response to emotions. This physical response includes physiological arousal.  The brain sends signals to the adrenal gland, which secretes hormones such as adrenaline. The flow of hormones through the blood causes the heart to beat faster and stronger. Getting attracted to opposite sex in adolescence is a normal and natural phenomenon. 

 

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aeparc2014@gmail.com

Is masturbation bad?

It is a proven fact that masturbation is neither unhealthy nor dangerous. The loss of semen through a wet dream or masturbation does not lead to weakness. The sperms and the semen are replenished in the body regularly. There is scientific evidence that physical manipulation is not harmful, therefore one should not feel guilty about it. As a young person, it is also important to explore interests and activities such as sports, fine arts, social service that will develop one’s overall personality and strike a healthy balance in life.

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aeparc2014@gmail.com

I want to become friend of a girl to share my feelings, what should I do?

Friendship cannot be imposed on anyone. You could express your feelings respectfully and sincerely to the person you would like to become friends with. However, the other person is free to respond based on his/ her feelings.

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sauravbhaskarsharma@gmail.com

What qualities did girls want in the boys to be their friend?

Friendships are gender neutral relationships. Rather than defining friendships by the sex of the friend, trust, mutual respect and honesty are the core elements of meaningful and positive friendships.  In any relationship, it is important to assess our feelings and communicate them honestly. Self-confidence and assertiveness are essential for maintaining positive relationships. Good friends enable us to discover our strengths, identify our weaknesses and help us to overcome them.  In most situations, feelings should be recognised rather than pretending they do not exist. Repressing feelings or pretending they do not exist can lead to frustration, anger and/or depression. At the same time, over-indulgence in feelings is also unhealthy, and can create many serious problems in life. We need to learn how to handle our feelings in a balanced way. 

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aeparc2014@gmail.com

What are the side effects of excess sperm production?

No term like ‘excess sperm production’ has been mentioned in the literature. During the onset of puberty, the testes continuously produce sperms generating billions in the course of an adult life time.  The sperms and the semen are replenished in the body regularly.

 

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aeparc2014@gmail.com

Why sex education?

It is more important for you to understand that there is no sex education introduced in the education sector. However, there is sufficient scientific evidence from both within and outside India to suggest that given the rapid pace of changes within adolescents and the changing societal expectations from them, adolescents need information and skills to make informed and responsible choices in different dimensions of their lives. Anchored in a rights perspective, Adolescence Education Programme is an educational intervention introduced in the school curriculum from upper primary stage with the aim of providing age and experience appropriate accurate information and inculcating life skills among young people that enable them to navigate real life situations effectively. While life skills are relevant for everyone, they are especially relevant to adolescents as they are developing a sense of identity in an environment that bombards them with numerous and often contradictory stimuli with very few reliable resources that they could seek clarifications from.

The themes addressed in the programme include:

  • Understanding changes during adolescence and being comfortable with them
  • Establishing and maintaining positive and responsible relationships
  • Understanding and challenging stereotypes and discrimination related to gender and sexuality
  • Understanding and reporting abuse and violation
  • HIV/AIDS: prevention, vulnerability, dealing with stigma, access to services, linkages with RTIs/STIs
  • Prevention of substance abuse: causes, access to safety net, consequences, de-addiction, care and support.

The Adolescence Education Programme (AEP) is an important initiative that aims to empower young people with accurate, age appropriate and culturally relevant information, promote healthy attitudes and develop skills to enable them to respond to real life situations in positive and responsible ways. The program focuses on enhancing life skills to enable young people to tackle real life situations effectively.

 

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aeparc2014@gmail.com

As a boy, with whom shall I keep my friendship to improvise myself in my personality, girls or boys?

Friendships are gender neutral relationships. Rather than defining friendships by the sex of the friend, trust, mutual respect and honesty are the core elements of meaningful and positive friendships.  In any relationship, it is important to assess our feelings and communicate them honestly. Self-confidence and assertiveness are essential for maintaining positive relationships. Good friends enable us to discover our strengths, identify our weaknesses and help us to overcome them.  In most situations, feelings should be recognised rather than pretending they do not exist. Repressing feelings or pretending they do not exist can lead to frustration, anger and/or depression. At the same time, over-indulgence in feelings is also unhealthy, and can create many serious problems in life. We need to learn how to handle our feelings in a balanced way. 

Email (Question Box): 
aeparc2014@gmail.com

Why sex education is included in plus two?

There is sufficient scientific evidence from both within and outside India to suggest that given the rapid pace of changes within adolescents and the changing societal expectations from them, adolescents need information and skills to make informed and responsible choices in different dimensions of their lives. Anchored in a rights perspective, Adolescence Education Programme is an educational intervention introduced in the school curriculum from upper primary stage with the aim of providing age and experience appropriate accurate information and inculcating life skills among young people that enable them to navigate real life situations effectively. While life skills are relevant for everyone, they are especially relevant to adolescents as they are developing a sense of identity in an environment that bombards them with numerous and often contradictory stimuli with very few reliable resources that they could seek clarifications from.

The themes addressed in the programme include:

  • Understanding changes during adolescence and being comfortable with them
  • Establishing and maintaining positive and responsible relationships
  • Understanding and challenging stereotypes and discrimination related to gender and sexuality
  • Understanding and reporting abuse and violation
  • HIV/AIDS: prevention, vulnerability, dealing with stigma, access to services, linkages with RTIs/STIs
  • Prevention of substance abuse: causes, access to safety net, consequences, de-addiction, care and support.
Email (Question Box): 
aeparc2014@gmail.com

How we deal the problems regarding social networking sites among children?

Using social media web sites is among the most common activity of today's children and adolescents. To channelise the energy among adolescents one can:

 

  • Enhance individual and collective creativity through development and sharing of artistic and musical endeavours including sports, music and dance etc;
  • Provide opportunities for community engagement for charity and volunteering for local events, including philanthropic events, e.g. one can teach the poor students.

·                 Keep the computer in a public part of your home, such as the drawing room, so that you can check on what your kids are doing online and how much time they are spending there.

·                 Parents also need to pay attention to the online trends and the latest technologies, websites and applications children are using,

·                 For all ages, emphasize that everything sent over the internet or a cell phone can be shared with the entire world, so it is important they use good judgment in sending messages and pictures appropriately.

·                 Talk to the children, develop time management plan with them and monitor their online social media use. 

Email (Question Box): 
aeparc2014@gmail.com

How babies come into existence?

New life occurs when male (sperm) and female gametes, which is sex cells (ovum) unite at conception. At the time of conception the genes and chromosomes from the mother and father unite to form a unique individual with particular traits and characteristics. All cells in human body contain 2x23=46 chromosomes. The sperm contains 23 chromosomes and so does the ovum. One of the 23 chromosomes is a sex chromo-some which is named as X or Y chromo-some. The sperms have both X and Y chromosomes but the ova have only X chromosomes. The sex of the baby is determined by the way the ovum is fertilized. If the ovum is fertilized by the Y chromosome of the sperm, a male baby will be born. But if the ovum is fertilized by the sperm containing X chromosome, a female baby will be born. The determination of the sex of the baby, therefore, is dependent on the male sperm and not on the female ovum or egg. It is important to note that chromosomes and not women determine the sex of the child.

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aeparc2014@gmail.com

What is menstrual cycle and exactly what happens during periods and how do girls use sanitary napkins? (These are the questions I am asked by my son)

Menstruation is a completely normal phenomenon and signifies that a girl is becoming a woman and can become pregnant. Having menstrual periods is symbolic of a woman’s ability to reproduce which should be universally respected. Menstrual blood is clean blood which would have supported the foetus. Menstruation is a normal, healthy process. Physical maturity or puberty in girls occurs when she starts ovulating, that is, an ovum (egg) ripens and is released from her ovaries every month. After a few days (approximately 14 days) of ovulation, the ovum flows out of the body along with some blood. This is menstruation. Menstruation is something that girls and women need to care about and manage well. Ideally all schools and workplaces should keep sanitary napkins because girls cannot always predict when their periods will come. Access to toilets with clean water is also a basic facility that girls’ schools and all workplaces should have. Importantly, for both girls and boys genitals should be treated like any other part of the body.

Email (Question Box): 
aeparc2014@gmail.com

Why children are always being scolded and beaten from teachers? Why children have so much pressure from parents and teachers in the academics?

Yours is not an exceptional problem. Almost all adolescents undergo a phase similar to the one you are experiencing. Parents and teachers usually have high expectations in academia from their children and students. This is usually because they feel that excellent academic performance alone can enable young people to live a good life. If they feel that the young person is deviating from the path of academic excellence, they get concerned and often times resort to punishment either verbal or physical.  They perceive that punishment is the only way of bringing the child back on track. On the other hand punishments make children feel hurt and disappointed. Many of them get discouraged and take even lesser interest in academia. Parents/ Teachers should make efforts and enable adolescents to discover their interest and motivate them to pursue it to the best of their abilities. You must try to understand that they may have a point of view in your interest based on their understanding of your situation. It may be helpful to share your views on academic achievement and any challenges that you are facing with them in a peaceful manner. 

 

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ashishkumardalai9@gmail.com

What shall be the basis of deciding my stream where my parents coax me to some extent to take commerce but I don't want that?

It is essential that you take a logical and scientific approach towards stream selection after your 10th examination. It is important to know what you are interested in and what the possible career paths that you are considering are. Most students suffer from under performance, de-motivation or loss of interest only because they get in to a stream that they are not interested in. Too many young people feel pressured into making a choice before they are really sure of what they want to do later in their lives. There are various factors that contribute towards a successful career. One of the first considerations is a realistic and informed subject choice. Analyse your strengths and weaknesses in a particular subject. You need to gather as much information required in a particular stream, talk to teachers and experts in that area and take a sensible decision for a particular stream you are considering. It may be a good idea to talk to some of your role models you are now working in the area of your choice to better understand the realities of the choices that you are considering.

Based on relevant facts, have a dialogue with your parents and communicate your viewpoint assertively. Once your parents are convinced that you are taking an informed decision, it is unlikely that they will pressurize you doing something that you do not believe in. It is also important to recognize and communicate that there are a wide range of career choices available today. One only needs to be good at one’s job.

 

Email (Question Box): 
aeparc2014@gmail.com

I am a student of class eleven. In my class my friends look at students differently if they even talk or watch girls. I consider this is too extreme, what should I do?

Getting attracted to opposite sex in adolescence is a normal and natural developmental phenomenon. However, looking at others differently; passing abusive words and teasing are a violation of a one’s basic right to live in dignity. This is a punishable offence in India. Girls/ women have always been subject to such behaviour and the trend unfortunately, continues even today. These abuses have many forms: physical, emotional, sexual, and exploitation and such abuses need to be immediately reported to school authorities as well as parents. There could be possibility of educating people and sensitise them about the grave consequences of abusing others. There is a need of change of mind set and respect women in the society. The attitude towards women needs to be altered only then we can expect gender equality in the real sense of the word. All should prepare their safety net to deal with such situations.

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aeparc2014@gmail.com

What is the difference between Sex and Gender?

Sex is biologically determined but gender is a social construct. ‘Male’ and ‘female’ are sex categories. They are basically assigned by nature. ‘Masculine’ and ‘feminine’ are gender categories. They are influenced by the interaction of biological, psychological, social, cultural and historical factors.  Qualities like brave, shy, weak and strong are not ‘male’ or ‘female’. Qualities do not have a gender. A woman can be strong, a man can be shy. Society creates the ideas about which qualities a man should possess and which qualities a woman should possess.
 

How does one get addicted to drugs?

No one starts taking substances with the aim of getting addicted to them. Most addicts start using a substance out of curiosity or to experience wrongly assumed pleasure. Some take to substance
misuse, as they wrongly believe that it will help them overcome their boredom, depression, stress and fatigue. Factors which make adolescents vulnerable to serious substance misuse are poor self-esteem, family history of substance misuse, low achievement at school, family instability, history of abuse and aggressive / impulsive personality.

I have not tried drugs, but my friends are pressurising me. If i start drugs what are the harmful effects?

Substance misuse affects varied aspects of a user’s life and can lead to physical and psychological dependence.  Long term use results in losing control of one’s emotions. It creates problems within the family and results not only in loss of trust but also breakdown in the relationships.

Sometimes sexual fantasies can hamper the studies of a boy, so how can he control his mind and indulge his mind mostly on studies?

During adolescence, as one attains sexual maturity, these fantasies are a natural part of growing up. However, sexual identity is only one facet of one’s personality and it cannot overshadow all other aspects of an individual’s identity. You should not feel guilty of having these fantasies but at the same time, explore and nurture other aspects of your personality. It may be helpful to have a good routine that gives enough time for everything that you consider important, including your studies and some time for relaxation. It may also comfort you to know that many young people experience these fantasies.

My parents and my views are different for my career. I can’t disobey them but I also don’t want to lose my dream for my career. What should I do?

Parents often wish the best for their children and would like them to be happy. However, there is nothing wrong if parents and children have different views on a particular issue. As we grow up, our world view, choices and aspirations can be different from our parents and other family members. It is important to recognize that you have to live with the career choices you make. Hence, you have to be comfortable with the choice you make.

We would recommend that first you think through the reasons you want to make a particular career choice and then share your views with your parents. If you think your parents may not listen to you, you may also consider talking to a friend/ sibling and then the two of you could jointly present the case to your parents. If you think your parents may be more receptive to listening to another adult, please do speak to that person.

However, there are 2 things that are noteworthy:

  • It is important to present your viewpoint
  • There are several young people who face similar dilemmas. As you grow up, you will continue to be in situations where your viewpoint is different from the more dominant ones. It is important to think through your viewpoint and make your voice heard respectfully. Remember, right to dissent is the most important right in a democracy!

You talk of hobbies in the safety net- But I want to question-“Social networking sites,” like drugs does, if we don’t use face book in a day we feel something missing it’s like an addiction. We have to go online once in a day. Is it like drugs?

Good hobbies are indeed part of a safety net. These hobbies such as mountaineering, reading books, music, helping others or anything else that interests and inspires you can be a good stress buster and can rejuvenate an individual to focus on other responsibilities that s/he may have. Staying connected with friends, colleagues, family and relatives is good. Connecting on face book once a day does not seem to be excessive. Perhaps, you need to take stock of whether you are spending far too much time on face book and neglecting other responsibilities that you have. This is true for any hobby you may have. You need to strike a balance!

What are the psychological changes that occur during growing up?

  • As the boys and girls are growing-they start to develop a personal identity, become more confident.  and do not want to be pursued by elders to do things. During adolescence, young people start extending their relationships beyond family and make a special place for peers. They develop a strong sense of selfhood and have their own views and feelings about various issues that may not always be in agreement with their parents/ elders.    They expect to be treated like adults who can make their own decisions.  There is an increase in the desire to experiment. Curiosity about sexuality related issues increases, become more self-conscious and start taking more care of their looks.

What are the changes that occur in boys’ bodies while growing up?

A boy’s voice gets deeper, his muscles develop and his chest gets broader.  Hair starts to grow under his arms and on his legs and face.  During this time his reproductive organs will also grow. Pubic hair, will also start to grow at the base of his penis. He will start to have erections and he may have wet dreams or nocturnal emissions.

  • Boys sometimes feel embarrassed as their voice becomes deeper & may suddenly break into a squeak.  Such cracking of voice is a normal growing up process and this varies in individuals.  All boys voices will eventually settle down and sound deeper (lower pitch).
  • Nocturnal emission is the release of semen from the body during sleep. It is also known as night fall or wet dreams. Although most adolescent boys experience nocturnal emission that at some time, it is not necessary that all should experience this. Nocturnal emission sometimes has a purely physiological basis. It is not necessarily accompanied by sexual feelings or dreams. This starts happening around puberty. It is completely normal and natural, nothing to be frightened, guilty or embarrassed about.

What is the truth behind various myths related to menstruation?

  • There are many myths surrounding menstruation. We shall deal with a few common myths here.
  • You should not have a bath or wash your hair during menstruation     
    • This is not true.  In fact one feels healthier and cleaner if a bath is taken everyday or even twice on warmer days.
  • Menstruation is unclean so a girl should not enter the kitchen or a religious place during her menstrual period.  Also she should not touch pickles at this time.
    • This is not true.  Menstruation is a normal physical process and there is nothing unclean about it. It has no effect on pickles or any other food product.
  • If a girl looks at a boy during her menstrual days, she is likely to become pregnant.
    • Pregnancy cannot happen without unprotected sexual intercourse. 
  • A girl should not participate in games or sports when menstruating.
    • This is not true.  There is no reason why a girl should restrict any activity, as menstruation is a normal process except when she suffers from severe cramps. 

Which are the common problems related to menstruation?

  • In the first two years after menstruation begins, periods may be irregular.  If they continue to be irregular, consult a qualified doctor
  • Scanty flow or too much bleeding may be due to poor nutrition, mental stress or excessive physical activity.  See a qualified doctor if the problem persists.
  • Some girls experience pain during menstruation and may have mood swings, breast pain and even express a desire to have a particular food item.  This is not abnormal at all.  Mild pain may be relieved with fomentation in the lower abdomen or mild exercises.
  • Some girls get severe painful cramps during menstruation.  Consult a physician if the discomfort is unbearable.

How to maintain Menstrual Hygiene?

  • Girls and women may use sanitary napkins, or cloth
  • A clean sanitary napkin should that should be changed frequently (every four to
  • six hours) to prevent infections
  • If a cloth is used which needs to be reused, it should be washed thoroughly and
  • disinfected by drying in the sun
  • Good genital hygiene is particularly important during periods
  • There is no reason not to bathe or wash hair during periods

What are the changes that occur in girls’ bodies while growing up?

  • Physical changes take place in all boys and girls but they start at different times.  Generally the changes start later for boys than girls.  In some people they start before the age of 10.  Other people will only start to change after the age of 14.  The changes also take place at different rates in different people. 
  • Physical changes in girls include growth of breasts, rounding of hips due to fat deposition, growth of pubic hair and starting of menstruation, commonly known as periods.
  • Menstrual periods are a natural change during adolescence and signify that the girl can become pregnant. Menstruation is a natural and healthy process.
  • Menstruation can start any time after 10 years of age. Menstruation occurs once in a month.  It is commonly called monthly menses or the periods.  When a girl gets her first menstruation it is called menarche.  When menstruation stops between the ages of 45-55 years it is called menopause.
  • Most women have a cycle falling within the range of 21-35 days. The duration of menstrual periods could be from 3 to 7 days. 

What influences breast growth and size?

  • Breast development is one of the first signs of puberty among girls. This starts between 8 and 13 years and completed between 13 and 18 years.
  • Growth of breast may be associated with tenderness of breast in the initial phase.
  • The breast size is mainly determined by heredity and the development process differs from person to person. Weight also influences breast size.
  • Large breast size could be due to obesity. Manage your weight.
  • Similarly, being underweight could be one of the reasons for small breasts. 

Is it safe to use fairness creams?

  • Your complexion is genetically controlled and no amount of cosmetics or parlor visits can change it.
  • Keep the face clean. It enhances the natural complexion and helps to keep face free of acne. 
  • Be confident about who you are and how you look. 

Does thinking about opposite sex cause Acne?

  • No, acne doesn’t occur due to fantasizing about opposite sex. Hyperactive oil glands in the skin cause Acne.

How do we get pimples?

  • You can get pimples because of:
    • Very oily skin
    • Anxiety due to some issue or any other reason
    • Air pollution as it clogs the pores on the skin.
  • Wash your skin frequently with water especially when you come from outside and before going to bed.
  • Use clean towel to wipe your face
  • Do not rub or scratch any pimples specially.
  • Avoid use of cosmetics without consulting a skin specialist
  • Go to a skin specialist, especially if pimples fill up with pus and are painful.

What is a nutritious and balanced diet?

  • Balanced diet means inclusion of proteins, carbohydrates, fats, vitamins in requisite proportions.
  • Water intake should be between 8-10 glasses.
  • Drastic diet plans and slimming medication can be harmful, unless prescribed by a qualified professional (nutritionist/doctor) for health reasons.
  • Every region has locally available nutritious food items. These should be identified and consumed as part of our daily meals. For example, the millet Ragi is very rich source of calcium and easily available across many parts of India.
  • Too much intake of fat, oil, fried food, sugar and salt is bad for health.
  • Excessive dieting should be avoided.
  • Regular eating habits and physical exercises usually help in maintaining a healthy weight.  
  • During the growing up period extra calcium is needed for strong bones and teeth.  Milk and milk products, green leafy vegetables, roasted gram, beans, nuts, fish, fruits such as orange, apricots are good sources of calcium.
  • Iron rich foods include green leafy vegetable, pumpkin, egg yolk, whole grains, liver, nuts, beans and pulses. Iron is an important component in a balanced diet and the most commonly known manifestation of iron deficiency is anemia.  

Is dieting a safe method of losing weight?

  • Excessive dieting is harmful
  • It can cause fatigue, anemia, constipation and lack of concentration.
  • Dieting can also cause deficiency of vitamins and minerals.
  • Excessive dieting can cause dramatic weight loss
  • Always take nutritious and balanced diet and eat regular meals
  • Regular physical activity and exercise also help in keeping weight in check
  • A qualified dietician/ doctor may help in developing a healthy and balanced diet plan 

Will steroids taken for body building harm me?

  • Yes, use of steroids for body building is unsafe and illegal
  • Due to misinformation, young boys may take steroids for body building
  • Use of steroids during adolescence can affect normal physical growth.
  • It can also cause heart disease, sterility and high blood pressure
  • Some other consequences of taking steroids include drug addiction, sleep disturbance, mood swings and depression.

I am underweight, what can I do to gain some weight?

  • You could be under weight due to low intake of food, emotional concerns or a medical problem.
  • Take a well-balanced nutritious diet.  
  • Increase portion size.
  • Eat 2-3 meals per day.
  • Increase intake of fresh fruits and salads
  • Take mild exercises to increase your appetite.
  • If you are still underweight, you may want to consult a dietician or a qualified doctor to rule out any medical problem.

How can I become slim?

  • You could be overweight due to excessive food intake, lack of physical exercise, emotional concerns or a medical problem.
  • Eat a balanced diet.
  • Eat 2-3 meals per day.
  • Reduce junk food and fried food intake.
  • Reduce portion size and sugar intake.
  • Avoid cold drinks and alcohol.
  • Increase water intake so that you drink at least 8-10 glasses of water per day.
  • Increase intake of fresh fruits and salads.
  • Go for walks and exercise regularly.
  • If you are still overweight, you may want to consult a dietician or a doctor to rule out any medical problem.

How can I increase my height?

  • Your adult height is dependent upon your genes. To reach your optimal height, eat a nutritious diet containing Calcium and Vitamin D along with sufficient physical activity.
  • If you are unusually short consult a qualified doctor.
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