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Reply To: Module 3 Unit 1 Puberty basics

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1.) I learned about puberty mostly from school. While I was lucky enough to have sex ed start in grade 4, before I’d hit puberty, I still find that it wasn’t quite comprehensive enough. I think it was good I got some education before I’d hit puberty, but it didn’t quite give me enough information to be fully prepared. For example, while the topic of menstruation and why it happens was touched on, I was not given any real information on how menstrual products worked (just that ‘pads’ and ‘tampons’ were things that existed) which meant that I was stuck trying to figure out how to use them mostly by myself at first. When I got a little older I was able to use the internet to research a bit more about the different types and how they work. While I know the internet is full of misinformation (about every topic, not just sex and puberty) I was lucky enough that I managed to find some resources that were genuinely helpful to me. The classes on puberty were also divided up by gender, which left me feeling curious about why we had to be put in different groups but also slightly guilty for having that curiosity, especially when factoring in the disgusted reactions from other kids during these classes.

2.) I don’t think puberty is inherently a bad or good experience, just a necessary change our bodies go through. For some people that change may be harder to cope with, and they may need more support to get through it. For other people, they may need very little support when going through it. I do think that the way different cultures perceive puberty has a lot of influence over how people are treated during it, not just by parents but by teachers, friends, etc, and that that can make a huge difference in the emotions tied to it. There are also some people who may need puberty blockers. Whether that’s because they’re transgender, or because they’re experiencing puberty at too young an age. In these cases puberty would be an immensely distressing thing for these people to go through, but not because it’s inherently bad. It would just be the wrong time, or the wrong type of puberty, which is what causes the distress.

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