Parents, friends, boyfriends, and even girls themselves all might wonder when it is that women fully mature.
In fact, they might even wonder, what is maturity? Does brain development play a role in women’s maturity? When does the brain fully mature?
It’s important to know the details of these questions in order to understand women in their late teens and early adulthood.
By understanding how the brain develops in women, we can understand, as a society, what goes into their thinking and how they handle life’s daily stressors.
For those that are curious, a woman’s brain does not fully develop until age 25.
This includes the development of the pre-frontal cortex.
Once the pre-frontal cortex develops, women are better at processing their thinking and making rational decisions.
New evidence also shows that the brain may never stop developing, a process that is now known as neuroplasticity.
The brain can develop in a number of different ways for men and women alike.
Studies have shown, however, that there are several common factors that affect how the brain develops, from childhood all the way into adulthood.
These factors that impact brain development include:
- Sensory stimuli
- Psychoactive drugs
- Gonadal hormones
- Parental-child relationships
- Peer relationships
- Early stress (meaning in the womb, also known as prenatal stress)
- Intestinal flora
Depending on how a woman’s early life was affected by these factors, their brains will be a bit different regardless of their age.
Women who have been exposed to alcohol while in the womb can develop a condition known as fetal alcohol syndrome or FNS.
This is an irreversible condition that can cause problems later on in life, such as:
- Problems with behavior
- Slow development
- Problems with speech
- Difficulty focusing
- Central nervous system disorders
FNS is just one example of many that highlight how different factors can impact a woman’s brain development.
Keeping these factors in mind is important to better understand how women with different upbringings can have vastly different brain developmental stages.
While women, in most cases, mature faster than men, this might not be the case for women who have been abused, abandoned, used psychoactive substances, have had a poor parent-child relationship, and so on.
Regardless of when the brain stops developing for individual women, one thing is certain: studies have shown time and time again that women mature faster than men.
However, new studies have also shown that this isn’t something that is directly a boy’s “fault.” In fact, the loss of connectivity pathways to process information in the brains of boys might be complicated due to the growing pressures put on boys during their adolescence.
It’s important to encourage both men and women to express themselves and refrain from putting unrealistic expectations on them.
This 2013 study showed just how detrimental that could be for boys and girls as their brains develop.
In addition to maturing earlier than men through their brain development, women also mature physically a bit faster than boys.
However, this usually balances out by the time kids reach high school.
The same concept applies here too- it’s best to speak to your children about equal and fair treatment for each other so their bodies (and brains) can develop fairly.
For females and males, their adolescence and teens are crucial times in their life when neural connections are beginning to form at a fast rate the more they are used.
Neural connections being lost as they are left unused is also known as “use it or lose it,” or “fire and wire.”
To explain this simply, let’s say you learn how to read a map inside of a book.
When you begin to walk the route, you understand how to use the path without needing the map.
However, as soon as you go back inside the map book to find another path, you suddenly forget how to even use the map book!
This is just one example of how neglecting certain skills can lead to forgetfulness, yet refining another skill (such as learning to walk the physical path on the map) leads to the strengthening of neural connections.
For women, the more they learn in high school and during their adult life, such as how to use their neural connections to be in good relationships, cook, and make good financial decisions, the more their brains develop.
During the brain’s development, it’s also important to consider the development of the prefrontal cortex.
This is the part of the brain that is located in the very front and is responsible for things such as:
- Determining good and bad
- Determining future outcomes
- Making rational decisions
- Social control
- Rule learning
- How to differentiate against conflicting thoughts
In both men and women, the prefrontal cortex does not stop developing until the age of 25.
This is also why car rental companies choose this age to rent to people since having a car is a huge responsibility that requires the utmost care and responsibility.
There are other ways to determine whether or not a female is mature, even before the age of 25 and their brain stops developing.
In the end, it’s all a matter of opinion and action that determines a female is mature.
For instance, a female might be able to study hard for her college courses during the week but then choose to party on the weekend.
Does this mean she’s emotionally immature? It’s all a matter of perspective!
If you find yourself in a relationship with another female, or you’re a female and want to improve parts of yourself that aren’t really “mature” (like excessive spending), there’s nothing that says you have to wait until you’re 25 to start practicing good habits.
Habits can be developed early on that can improve your maturity levels and quality of life and are just good for you.
These habits can help you feel more mature, stay organized, and improve your quality of life.
Best of all, they can be done at any age and improve your life almost immediately. These habits include:
- Getting enough sleep
- Eating a balanced meal
- Staying organized
- Making a schedule
- Balancing priorities
- Spending time with family
- Practicing a hobby you love
- Practicing good budgeting skills
Remember when we talked about the concept of “use it or lose it?”
This concept is also known as neuroplasticity, and science now supports the idea that the brain has the ability to change and modify itself according to sensory changes!
Yes, there are critical times during a female’s development when her brain is undergoing sensitive changes.
But thanks to the idea of neuroplasticity and advancing research, we now know that it is possible for women and men to heal their brains and create new ways of thinking, new ways to navigate certain tasks, know how to perform new functions, and more in order to improve their lives.
Although a woman’s brain stops developing at 25, this doesn’t mean women’s brains are doomed to stay the same forever!
Through neuroplasticity and creating better habits, women and men can become more mature and sensible and can find ways to improve their quality of life.