Adolescent girls are curious about the puberty experience for boys and what is changing in their body. They feel uncomfortable asking questions like this, so it is best to initiate the conversation yourself.
It is natural and actually healthy for our daughters to want to understand what is different about boys and how their reproductive system works. As our daughters mature through puberty, the sexual centers in their brain are also maturing. Answers to their questions will help them be knowledgeable as they make sexual choices for themselves in the future.
The more they understand about how their reproductive system works and how a boy’s reproductive system works, the more power they will have in their decision-making process as they mature. We certainly do not want them making choices under either emotional or persuasive pressure. They need to understand what is happening and the possible outcomes.
Many parents have concern that if they talk about sexual topics with their adolescent, they will become even more interested in sex. That is probably the opposite of what might happen with your adolescent. They are naturally curious, and it is much better if you teach them than they search for answers in places that will distort the beautifully designed reproductive process of our body.
There are lots of great topics about boys to discuss with your daughter, but the one I suggest you start with is where sperm are produced. Using this anatomy figure from my book I’m a Boy, Hormones! here are some key points to talk about with her.
- Sperm are made inside tubes in the testicles. Sperm are very small. 19 million sperm fit on the tip of a ballpoint pin.
- When a boy is sexually mature, in his teens, his testicles produce about 300 million sperm each day. That is 3400 a second!
- Sperm start as round structures on the outer edge of the tube and then change their shape as they mature toward the center (lumen) of the tube. The final shape of a sperm is described as having a head, middle piece, and tail.
- When sperm are developing in the testicles, they are very sensitive to temperature. This is why the testicles are held outside the body in the scrotum where it is cool.
- Sperm travel inside tubes from the testicles to another place called the epididymis. When they arrive at the epididymis, they are still immature and cannot swim. Sperm are stored in the epididymis for a few weeks and when they leave the epididymis, they can use their tail to swim.
- If sperm stay longer than a month in the epididymis, they will die. Their parts are broken down and removed by the epididymis. Because more sperm are constantly being made, this is a normal healthy cleansing process of the body.
Certainly, this topic might lead to other questions your daughter has. That is actually good news, although a little scary.
I will continue to write blogs to help you teach your daughter about reproduction. Let’s change the dialogue to one of admiration and respect for the reproductive process. Knowledge is certainly powerful and we want to raise knowledgeable, powerful daughters!
No comments yet