Testosterone Levels in Teenagers
A teenager’s testosterone levels are among the highest that will occur throughout a person’s life. Teenage boys and teenage girls start producing more testosterone than ever during puberty. Testosterone production gradually decreases shortly after teenage years. Teenage testosterone contributes to behavioral, structural and psychological development that transforms children into sexually reproductive adults.
Puberty occurs throughout most of the teenage years. The pituitary gland increases the amount of sex hormones in a teenager’s body during puberty. These hormones affect different parts of the body depending on whether the teenager is a boy or a girl. Testosterone causes most of the changes that occur in a boy’s body during puberty. Testosterone in girls contributes to musculoskeletal growth, sexual arousal and sex organs.
According to an article in The Guardian, puberty may cause a boy to create as much as 50 times the amount of testosterone that he produced prior to puberty. The Body Building website suggests that teenage boys may produce the equivalent of 300mg of exogenous testosterone per week. According to an article on Dr. Edward Lichten’s “U.S. Doctor” website, a 15-year-old girl may produce around 40 or 50 nanograms per deciliter, or ng/dl, of testosterone that gradually increases to 70 ng/dl by age 20.
Testosterone production in teenagers begins with the hypothalamus. The hypothalamus is a part of the brain that produces hormones that control things such as moods, sex drive and body temperature. The hypothalamus secretes gonadotrophin-releasing hormone. Gonadotrophin-releasing hormone stimulates hormone production by the pituitary gland in the brain. The pituitary gland produces sex hormones in response to gonadotrophin-releasing hormone. Sex hormones stimulate testosterone production by the adrenal glands or the testicles depending on whether the teenager is a girl or a boy.
Physical changes that occur in that teenage boys results from higher testosterone production. That pituitary gland releases luteinizing hormone that travel through the blood and down to the testicles. These hormones trigger the production of testosterone in the testicles. Testosterone contributes to sperm production. Testosterone also changes the form of a teenage boy’s body by increasing lean body mass and muscle tissues, and stimulating body hair growth.
Testosterone contributes to behavioral changes in teenagers. Testosterone contributes to a boy’s sex drive by enhancing arousal and sexual response mechanisms. According to an article in the Sunday Times, a teenage boy’s mind may become essentially consumed by sex. Teenage testosterone may reduce a boy’s communication and interest in socializing. For example, a boy who was talkative prior to puberty may become monosyllabic. This change may result from feeling ashamed of sexual thoughts. High testosterone levels may restrict a teenage boy’s interest to body parts, athletic activities and sexual pursuit.
- teenager. image by Kurhan from Fotolia.com