The last stage of human physical development before reaching adulthood. The primary changes are:

This is a piece of advice I recently gave a friend of mine who is just straddling puberty, with all the attached insecurities and apprehension. Only after our conversation and after checking with a few friends did I realise what a true information bonanza this is. Know this about women and you know all you need:

What counts most, and foremost, with a woman is effort.

That's it. It doesn't matter if you've no idea what you're doing, if you're scared or uncertain. As long as you're not bored, crude or oblivious, you're in with a chance.

puberty: the developmental period of transition under the governance of hormones, especially sex hormones, from being a juvenile to an adolescent. the period between childhood and adolescence when the secondary sexual characteristics have the onset of their development, culminating in procreative maturity. See also precocious puberty; premature puberty; pubertal delay.

Dictionary of Sexology Project: Main Index

Puberty is more than the development of sex organs, or the buildup of hormones. It is the first real defining time of a human's existence. During puberty, a teenager will often choose their vocation. They will, in most cases, know what they like, for puberty is a time of discovery.

While in puberty, the mind changes, as well. All through junior high and high school, teenagers are very picky - they'll go through liking five different kinds of music, hanging out with three different crowds, and god only knows how many girlfriends or boyfriends they'll have!

And then, after puberty ends, around the end of high school, the teenagers' friends all change. They lose interest in their best friends. They change their minds about who is "cool" and who isn't. They become "adult", in a way, and everything changes. They go off to college, and hang out with their new crowd. Puberty is clearly more than just a sexual change - it's a mental one, and a philosophical one as well.

There are many physical changes that occur during puberty. The physical changes are caused by a massive surge in hormone production. The most startling change during puberty is the adolescent growth spurt. This growth spurt usually occurs between the ages of ten and a half to thirteen in girls and about two years later for boys. Also during this time the reproductive organs of both sexes mature. Secondary sex characteristics appear. Girls develop breasts and their hips round. Boys’ voices deepen and facial and chest hair appears. Both sexes grow pubic and axillary hair. A major landmark in males of puberty is the first ejaculation. For females the onset of menstruation is the major landmark.

Physical appearance has a stronger role on self-image during adolescence than in any other time during a person’s life. The timing of puberty can have important psychological consequences, coming as it does at a time when a sense of security is gained from being like other members of the peer group.

The timing of puberty can be very important. Early maturation in males seems to give the boy important advantages and enhanced status in the peer group. Early-maturing boys are taller and stronger than their classmates and therefore have an advantage in sports and get the girls attention. These boys are likely to have a positive body image, to feel confident, secure, independent and happy. They are also often more academically successful.

Late maturing boys are often at a disadvantage both socially and athletically and are judged as less attractive by both peers and adults. They are self-conscious about their size and lake of manly traits. These boys are often subjected to bullying.

Early-maturing girls feel more self-conscious about their developing bodies and their size. These girls also have to deal with the sexual advances of older boys before they are emotionally or psychologically mature. They are also more likely to be exposed to alcohol and drug use and are more likely to have early sexual experiences and unwanted pregnancies. They tend to not do as well academically. When their peers catch up to them the early-maturers tend to be shorter and heavier and likely to be unhappy.

Late-maturing girls often experience considerable stress when they fail to develop physically allowing with their peers.

Pu"ber*ty (?), n. [L. pubertas, fr. puber, pubes, adult: cf. F. pubert'e.]


The earliest age at which persons are capable of begetting or bearing children, usually considered, in temperate climates, to be about fourteen years in males and twelve in females.

2. Bot.

The period when a plant first bears flowers.


© Webster 1913.

Log in or register to write something here or to contact authors.