The Puberty Issue (2016) provides teachers with ways of introducing puberty in an age-appropriate fashion.
It includes features on:
- The factors that may be contributing to a current increase in early onset puberty in girls.
- How the adolescent brain develops during puberty.
- Using art to express the emotional aspect of puberty
- How a child in every class could start menstruating before leaving primary school, and the practical steps schools can take to support them.
The magazine includes findings from a survey of young people which suggests that schools are leaving discussions about puberty too late, with nearly a quarter (24%) of girls start having periods before the subject is covered in RSE classes at school. Almost 15% of young people said they were taught nothing at school about menstruation.
The pattern is repeated for boys with 38% experiencing wet dreams before having learnt about them. Over 50% of young people go through school without this aspect of puberty ever being mentioned.
The survey of over 2,000 young people aged 11-25 found that nearly a third of young people (30.4%) did not learn all they needed to at school about how their body changes during puberty – this rose to 46% for young people who identify as transgender, non-binary or other genders.