chapter  3
17 Pages

Female Adolescence: Toward a Separate Line of Female Development

What does the young “ halfborn” adolescent girl see in the glass? She “ sees” in adolescence, as she does throughout her life, with her feminine mind and body.

The adolescent girl is “ halfborn” at puberty. Adolescence occurs between her early childhood years, on the way to womanhood but not yet having arrived. Pu­ berty ushers in early adolescence, and as late adolescence wanes, adulthood be­ gins. Work, both outside and inside the home, job and career, and potentially motherhood loom ahead. In the second quotation, Anne Frank, at age 14 and six months, poignantly expresses her early adolescent experience: “ . . . what is hap­ pening to me is so wonderful, not only what can be seen on my body, but all that is taking place inside.” This chapter has a particular focus on the “ wonder­ ful . . . inside” happenings of feminine development in adolescence.