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By Gina M. Wingood, Catlainn Sionéan, Donna Hubbard McCree (auth.), Gina M. Wingood ScD, MPH, Ralph J. DiClemente PhD (eds.)

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Just after the peak in height velocity and around stage 4 of pubic hair and breast development, girls have their first menstruation, or menarche (Grumbach & Styne, 1998). Thus, menarche occurs near the end of pubertal development. The same recent studies that have reported racial differences and younger ages than previously thought for girls in age of onset of pubic hair growth and breast development have also found racial differences in age at menarche. , 1997; National Center for Health Statistics, 1997).

Typically, girls will experience the growth spurt or peak height velocity in the earlier stages of puberty (between stages 2 and 3 of breast and pubic hair development). The growth spurt for boys is about two years later than that for girls. Girls will also experience a "spurt" in weight with gains in both body fat and lean muscle mass (Grumbach & Styne, 1998). However, in comparison to boys, girls gain more fat and less muscle. In addition, fat is disrributed ro the hips changing the body shape ro form a more curved figure.

By mid-1964 oral contraceptives, available only by prescription, had become the most popular contraception in the country. 5 million women were taking them, constituting one-fourth of alI couples practicing contraception in the United States. Women Hocked to doctors' offices for prescriptions because they believed they would personally benefit from a contraceptive that was more effective and simpler to use than previous methods. Unlike the diaphragm, the Pill promised almost 100% efficacy. Small, simple, and discreet, it did not require direct male cooperation.

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