Puberty and Adolescence

The onset of puberty is marked mainly by physiological changes that the boys and girls undergo, including their emerging sexuality, and by new labor responsibilities for their families. During puberty, most children decide whether to terminate their formal education during elementary school, or to continue their education through secondary school. Many poor Ifugao children become full-time laborers at this time, working with their natal families. Most who choose to attend secondary school must usually move from their family's home to attend one of the few distant high schools within each municipality. The students live either in school dormitories, or with relatives or other family friends, often while working as domestic laborers for them. Through formal education, young men and women learn modern Filipino and Western ways of thinking and behaving, providing socialization beyond that offered by their parents and relatives. While in the past century more young men attended secondary school than young women, the rates of the latter attending secondary school have increased.

With puberty, young women and men emerge into a period of sexual development and interest. Both tend to become more interested in beautifying themselves, wearing stylish jewelry, clothing, and haircuts.

Labor expectations for young women and men are greatly increased with adolescence. Young girls are expected to be proficient and industrious at domestic labor, including cooking, pounding rice, cleaning, weaving, and hand-washing clothes. Young women also participate in agricultural labor, either full time or part time if they are attending school. The workload for young men is less demanding on a daily basis, though they are expected to gather and carry firewood, fish, feed domestic animals, and carry out agricultural labor and, for some, craft production. Sibling relationships are very significant, as elder adolescent siblings must care for their younger siblings.

Pregnancy And Childbirth

Pregnancy And Childbirth

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