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Puberty is a period, mainly in the teenage years where boys and girls begin developing adult characteristics and go through changes which bring them to sexual maturity. Puberty is a time of rapid growth and physical development.

In girls, it is shown by:

  • Breast development
  • Widening of the hips (to deliver babies)
  • Beginning of menstruation
  • Appearance of body hair
  • Development of the genitals

In boys, it is shown by:

  • Appearance of facial hair and body hair
  • Widening of the shoulders
  • Deepening of the voice
  • Development of the genitals[1]

Time Frame

Puberty usually starts in girls between the ages of 10 and 14 and between 12 and 16 for boys. The process takes different lengths of time for different people based on genetic factors and societal factors such as food supply and nutrition. The average age of the beginning of puberty has decreased measurably over time.[2]

See Also

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