Why is late puberty more difficult for boys than girls?

Puberty is a time of change in which adolescents experience the physical, psychological and social changes that turn them from children into adults. It can be a difficult transition for both boys and girls but it can be even more challenging for boys since they tend to experience their changing hormones at a later stage than girls (Kim & Phelan, 2017). This essay will discuss why late puberty is often more difficult for adolescent boys compared to adolescent girls.

Firstly, it has been noted by researchers that late pubertal maturation in boys is significantly correlated with an increase in depressive symptoms (Merkerson-Williams et al., 2019). Adolescents who experience delayed puberty are usually one of the last of their peers to begin maturing physically and as such may become subject to ridicule or mocking as a result (Smolak et al., 2014). They may also find themselves lagging behind others in terms of social activities such as school sports or dating so they may feel like they have missed out on certain experiences due to being behind with their development. This sense of exclusion combined with the lack of confidence caused by physical immaturity can lead them to struggle psychologically and suffer from low self-esteem (Roosma et al., 2018).

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