Yes, it's hard for boys. Testosterone, constant competition (who's funniest, strongest, fastest, most popular), spots, sex, having to be cool...But teenage girls have it worse.
I say this as the mum of two boys and a girl. And I freely admit that my views may be coloured by two things: a) the boys probably haven't told me the half of it, and b) I was once a teenage girl myself.
So why do I think it's harder for girls? For a start, there's the raging hormones. Boys, too, have to cope with a flood of chemicals that change their bodies and emotions. But it's a gradual process. They don't suddenly morph into alien beings, like werewolves in Twilight. And once they've got there – bigger, beardier, with deeper voices – they stay like that. Job done.
But the cycle of hormones that girls have to deal with all through adolescence means they have no idea who they are from one day to the next. Beautiful day! Wake up happy! Gossip with friends! And then, by lunchtime, the black cloud has descended. Depths of despair. Everything's hopeless. I'll never be happy again.
Mood swings? It doesn't begin to describe it.
What's worse is that, while they're in the middle of all this, they have become objects of intense interest to all males from 13 to 103. They can be walking down the street with greasy hair, premenstrual acne and a bloated stomach and men will stop their cars, wind down their windows and shout at them. It's like Britain's Got Talent, except the girls didn't ask to take part.
Boys may feel self-conscious about physical changes. But they don't have to cope with it all on a brightly lit stage in front of a critical audience.
IMHO, as they say.
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