We all remember that September when we came back from summer vacation and suddenly discovered that girls became a whole foot taller than boys. However, statistically, grown-up men are taller than women. So, how does the growing process work?
Do Girls grow differently?
Statistically, girls have the two most active growing periods – infancy and puberty. It explains why baby girls are usually said to develop faster than boys and why you and your partner are at different heights in your Prom photo.
Girls` growth process is closely intercorrelated with puberty. Most girls reach their adult height and stop growing as soon as their menstrual cycle becomes stable. The average age for this is around 14-15 years old.
How do boys grow?
Boys seem to start growing later than their female age mates, but their incredible growth pace often makes parents wonder at some point whether their son will ever stop growing at all.
However, just like with girls, every boy`s growth rate depends on puberty. Boys may start to grow at a crazy pace once they hit puberty; however, it has nothing to do with how tall a person will eventually be. Heights are determined by genetics mostly.
Once archeologists discovered ancient furniture, clothes, or armory, they were often surprised with how shorter our ancestors seemed to be. This phenomenon is quite explainable as children, especially boys, often tend to be a bit taller than their parents. It proves that evolution is an eternal process that hasn`t stopped the second humans learned to use tools, but continues throughout our history.
According to their growth rates, boys may be divided into early and late bloomers:
- Those who hit puberty around the age of 11
- Those who reach the maturing age being 13-14 years old
However, it also doesn`t determine how tall a boy will be eventually. Late bloomers just grow much faster, fulfilling the gap between them and those who have hit puberty earlier.
Do boys and girls grow at a different speed?
Boys and girls grow differently. This is the reason why pediatrics have different development charts for children. Those charts consider various factors except for growth speed. Those are weight, muscle and bones development, size of various body parts, and their proportions. This method helps to utilize the development evaluation and alert a parent in case a child falls off the traditional rate and needs special attention.
Why some children grow better than others?
There are several reasons for growth delays or burst.
- Some medical conditions and therapy methods may either slow down the growing processor, otherwise, boost it up;
- Hormones are among the most important growth factors. Their misbalance may lead to delayed or premature puberty which influences the growth rate of a child;
- Insulin level also influences the growth rate. Children born with various diabetes types demonstrate growth rate different from their age mates;
- certain genetic disorders determine the growth rate and final height of a person despite the original height of parents. Down syndrome is the most common one.
Boys may start growing a bit later than girls and have less active growth periods, but due to a higher pace of growth, they eventually manage to outrun girls in height. Another important factor that determines the fact that men are usually taller than women is the fact that boys usually grow for at least 2 years longer, compensating for the height gap. However, people tend to lose a couple of centimeters of their height after the age of 60. It is explained by the deformation of spinal disks, caused by physical activity or footwork. And due to statistics and average labor culture, men tend to lose a bit more height than women.