A child is born with a complete set of reproductive organs, but these organs do not function during the first \(10\) to \(11\) years. The hormones in the body influence the activity of the reproductive organs that induces puberty.
At puberty, the sex hormones or gametes are produced that causes sexual maturity in boys and girls.
The period during which adolescence reach sexual maturity and are capable of reproduction is called puberty. It is several years wherein there is rapid physical growth which causes sexual maturity.
The girls attain puberty at the age of \(10\) to \(13\) years, while boys attain puberty at the age of \(12\) to \(14\) years.
Changes that take place in boys during puberty:
- Hair growth in the face to form moustache and beard, and on the chest.
- Deepening of voice that causes low pitched voice.
- Reproductive organ testes start making gamete or the sperm.
- Penis and the testes become larger.
- The shoulder and chest will be broaden.
- The body turns muscular, and hair growth is seen in the armpits and pubic areas (between the thighs).
- Increase in height rapidly.
Changes that take place in girls during puberty:
- Enlargement and development of mammary glands (breasts).
- Ovaries release eggs with the commencement of menstruation.
- The development of ovaries, oviducts, uterus and vagina.
- The widening of the hip and the fat deposition on the hip and thighs.
- Hair growth in the armpits as well as in pubic areas (between the thighs).
Each of the changes that are associated with puberty are discussed in detail in the next section.