Sexual Changes In Middle School

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Middle school students are essentially in the middle of it all. They are no longer babies, but they are far from adults. They go through intellectual, social, emotional, physical, sexual, and moral changes that may be difficult for them to understand. Their bodies and their minds are changing at a rapid rate, and at times, these changes can become frustrating to them, as well as to the people around them. By understanding the changes that early adolescents are going through, educators will be more able to help them deal with these changes, and will be better able to guide them through these tough times in their young lives. Strahan, L’Esperance, and Van Hoose say that “successful middle schools meet the developmental needs of their students”…show more content…
Although variation in sexual development is considered normal, students may worry that their bodies are not developing at the correct rate. When they begin to compare themselves to other students who may be developing more quickly, self-esteem issues can result (2009, p. 56). These sexual changes can also lead to an increase in sexual activity. According to a recent study, 7.1% of students under the age of 13 reported that they have had a sexual encounter, and although they have been taught about the dangers of HIV and other STD’s, only 61.5% of sexually active adolescents currently use protection (2009, p. 57-58). Every student at North Stanly Middle School is offered a sex education course through their health class. Students are taught about the dangers of unprotected sex and STD’s. Hopefully, students who go through this course will be better prepared to deal with the pressures that the media and society put on them regarding…show more content…
8th graders at North Stanly Middle School are generally very immature. Many times, they speak before thinking, and as a result, they can appear unsure of themselves. They are easily embarrassed, and will not take chances for fear of being wrong, however, they are willing to act a certain way if it ensures that they will be “cool” or will fit in with the popular kids. Strahan, et al. say “perhaps the most important developmental accomplishment of early adolescence is a stronger sense of identity” (2009, p. 61). As a result of seeking an identity, adolescents are willing to do whatever it takes to fit in. The authors describe it as “trying on many masks until they find the face that fits” (2009, p. 64). This strong desire to fit in can lead to dangerous and detrimental behavior. Many times, students are willing to commit crimes, experiment with drugs and alcohol, or become sexually active if it means that they will be accepted by their peers (2009, p. 77). These behaviors are often glorified on television shows and movies that adolescents are exposed to. These shows expose adolescents to role models that are far from perfect, but their actions are made to appear normal. This can become dangerous, as some students may not have the ability to differentiate fact from fiction, and they may view these behaviors as necessary to fit in (2009, p. 69). The social changes that early

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