Puberty

Puberty is not a point of time, but rather a process during which there is further sexual differentiation. It is in this stage of life when the body begins to change on the outside as well as inside. It changes from that of a child into that of an adult, with secondary sexual characteristics and the ability to reproduce sexually. Puberty can be scientifically defined as the time during which there is sudden enlargement of the gonads, other genitalia and secondary sex characteristics, leading to reproductive capacity. 

Perhaps the most important single event in the process is the first ejaculation for males (as is the first menstruation for females). During puberty there is a marked increase in the level of sex hormones both in girls and boys. The hypothalamus, pituitary (both situated in the brain), the endocrine system and gonads control the changes.

Both boys and girls gain about 25 percent of the adult height and 50 percent of the adult weight during puberty. At the start of puberty growth spurt is experienced i.e. height increases in a short period of time. With the pubertal spurt, boys tend to become more muscular (and girls show fat deposition in characteristic female distribution).

 

 

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