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Puberty and adolescence:
All living creatures are subjected to grow as a part of their natural processes. In humans, when the body of an individual changes at a particular period of time resulting in reproductive maturity. This stage is defined as adolescence. Adolescence occurs in all human beings. The adolescence period in humans begin around the age of 12 or 13 and lasts up to 18 or 19. During adolescence, both boys and girls undergo several changes in their body. These changes mark the onset of puberty. During puberty, both boys and girls mature in terms of reproducing and enhance their body features to become a fully-grown adult.
Changes in Puberty:
· Height: Both boys and girls show an increase in height during puberty and reach a maximum at the end of adolescence.
· Body shape: boys show broadening of chest and increase in muscles, while for girls, increase in hip and waist size is observed.
· Voice: Voice in boys crack up during puberty as the voice box begins to grow. This results in protruding of voice box which can be seen outside the throat. This is known as Adam’s apple. For girls, during puberty, they develop a high-pitched voice.
· Activity of glands: Both boys and girls show an increased activity in secretion of sweat glands and sebaceous glands resulting in outbreak of acne and pimples on the skin.
· Development of sex organs: During puberty, the male organs penis and testes develop completely and start to produce the male gametes, sperms. In girls, the ovaries enlarge and release mature eggs in a periodic cycle known as menstrual cycle.
· Mental, intellectual and emotional maturity: During adolescence, the mind has a lot of control over the body as the mind starts to think independently and creatively and is influenced majorly from the environment.
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Development of secondary sexual characters during puberty:
Boys and girls undergo major changes in their body, which are known as secondary sexual characters. As female gametes develop in girls, secondary sexual characters like breasts begin to develop. In boys, development of muscles, moustache, facial hair and chest hair are the secondary sexual characters. In both boys and girls, development of pubic hair and hair in underarms are seen to develop gradually.