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this country in the majority of cases occurs between the ages of
thirteen and fourteen. The year of gradual development before the
onset of menstruation is by some referred to as the pre-pubertal year;
and the first year after the onset of menstruation is the
post-pubertal year. The period from puberty to full sexual maturity is
called adolescence, and this term is applied generally to the period
between thirteen and eighteen. For at eighteen the boy and the girl
have reached full maturity. Mentally we acquire things as long as we
live, and even physically the body gets larger for some years after
eighteen. But sexually both boys and girls are fully mature at
eighteen, though in order to become parents it is best, for various
reasons, to wait to the ages of twenty or twenty-five.
=Nubility.= Nubility is the age or state when a boy or a girl is "fit"
for marriage. This is a vague and unsatisfactory term. At the age of
thirteen to fifteen boys and girls are physically "fit" for marriage,
that is at that age a boy is capable of begetting and a girl of having
children. But it does not mean that it would be advisable for them to
marry at such an early age. Neither their bodies nor their minds are
fully developed, and children begotten of such young parents are apt
to be weaklings, both mentally and physically. The youngest age for
girls to marry should be eighteen, and for boys twenty; but the
youngest age for becoming parents should be twenty to twenty-two for
the mother and twenty-three to twenty-five for the father.
Definition of Menstruation--Where Menstrual Blood Comes From--Age
of Menstruation--Age of Cessation of
Menstruation--Duration--Amount--Regularity and Irregularity.
The first function with which the girl will be confronted, which will
impress upon her that she is a creature of sex, that she is decidedly
different from the boy, is _menstruation_. And this function we will
now proceed to study.
What is menstruation? Menstruation is a monthly discharge of blood.
The word is derived from the Latin word mensis, which means a month;
and menstruation is also frequently spoken of as _the menses_. It is
also called the catamenia or catamenia-flow (Greek, kata--by, men--a
month). Other terms are: the periods, courses, monthlies, turns,
monthly changes, monthly sickness, sickness, flowers, to be unwell, to
be regular. "Not to see anything" is a common term for having missed
the menses. This flow of blood recurs in most cases with remarkable
regularity once a month; not a calendar month, but once a lunar month,
i.e., once every twenty-eight days. And as there are thirteen lunar
months a year, a woman menstruates not twelve but thirteen times a
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