Teenagers: A Natural History

Overview


Teenagers reimagines the way people think about adolescents. No longer society's scourge and scapegoat, the teenager emerges from David Bainbridge's fascinating study as an awe-inspiring natural phenomenon that evokes reverence and wonder. Bainbridge, a veterinarian and anatomist, suggests that the second decade is the most important in the human lifecycle. In lively prose, he explains the science behind the changes that occur both on the surface of the teenage body and deep within the teenage brain, from lanky ...
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Teenagers: A Natural History

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Overview


Teenagers reimagines the way people think about adolescents. No longer society's scourge and scapegoat, the teenager emerges from David Bainbridge's fascinating study as an awe-inspiring natural phenomenon that evokes reverence and wonder. Bainbridge, a veterinarian and anatomist, suggests that the second decade is the most important in the human lifecycle. In lively prose, he explains the science behind the changes that occur both on the surface of the teenage body and deep within the teenage brain, from lanky limbs and bad skin to falling in love, sleeping till noon, and the irresistible allure of sex, drugs, and rock‘n’roll. Observed through a scientific lens, these bizarre biological transformations and behavioral anomalies snap into focus, as not only a beautifully choreographed sequence of steps on the path to adulthood, but also as a key evolutionary factor in the success of the species.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781553654377
  • Publisher: Greystone Books
  • Publication date: 7/14/2009
  • Pages: 364
  • Product dimensions: 5.20 (w) x 8.50 (h) x 1.00 (d)

Table of Contents

Introduction: A silver lining 1

1 Aches and Gripes and Lumps and Bumps: Why growing up is hard to do 9

Where did the teenagers come from? 14

What flips our sexy switch? 26

Why all the bodily unpleasantness? 36

Why do teenage girls and boys look different? 43

Why are girls more mature? 62

2 Thinking, Risk and Rock 'n' Roll: Why teenage brains are different 73

Why are teenagers brainier than everyone else? 77

Are teenagers driven by their hormones? 89

Why are teenagers' brains different? 101

Why all the sleep, risk and anger? 113

Why do teenagers start to think in new ways? 129

3 Out of the Ordinary: The truth about alcohol, nicotine and other diversions 143

Where did all the drugs come from? 146

Why do drugs affect teenagers differently? 154

So is teenage drug use really a bad thing? 170

4 Love and Loss: Why teenage relationships can be the best and worst things in the world 183

Why do teenagers get so sad? 186

Why do teenagers get so confused? 204

Why do teenagers get so worried? 216

And what is love? 233

5 Teenage Kicks: The ifs, whens and whys of sex 244

Why do teenagers have sex? 247

When are teenagers meant to have sex? 257

Why do teenagers get sexually transmitted diseases? 268

Why is teenage pregnancy different? 279

Why are teenagers meant to have sex? 289

Conclusion: The Long Game 306

Acknowledgements 311

Bibliography 313

Index 345

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