Gender Differences in Risk Behaviours: Does Sexual Maturation Matter?


Background: Menarche is a milestone of entering puberty, representing an indicator of sexual maturity and revealing normal physical, biological, psychological, and emotional development. This study aimed to compare pre-menarche girls, same age post-menarche girls, and boys according to risk behaviours.

Methods: Participants (n=2608) completed a comprehensive survey regarding headache, irritability, feeling nervous, tobacco use, drinking beer, physical fighting, diet, and perception of health.

Results: The prevalence of having headaches (p<0.001), being irritable or having a bad temper (p<0.001), feeling nervous (p<0.001), being on a diet (p<0.001) was significantly higher among post-menarche girls than boys and pre-menarche girls. Post-menarche girls had a poorer perception of health (p<0.001). After adjusted data for socioeconomic status and BMI, frequency of having headaches, bad temper and feeling nervous was higher for post-menarche girls.

Conclusions: Specific school-based intervention is required so that the perception of well-being and social participation can be maintained during after menarche.

Apr 15, 2015
How to Cite
MARQUES, Adilson; BRANQUINHO, Cátia; GASPAR DE MATOS, Margarida. Gender Differences in Risk Behaviours: Does Sexual Maturation Matter?. International Archives of Medicine, [S.l.], v. 8, apr. 2015. ISSN 1755-7682. Available at: <>. Date accessed: 23 sep. 2021. doi:
Medical Humanities


adolescence; gender differences; health behaviours and attitudes