There is a lack of clear agreement among researchers as to the precise definition of the term “puberty.” Perhaps it would be simplest to define puberty as that stage in its life history when an animal becomes fertile—i.e., when a male begins to produce mature sperm and when a female begins to ovulate. However, numerous other events normally occur at about the same time, and often these events are emphasized in studies of puberty. In humans, for example, puberty in the male is associated with a spurt of growth, the appearance of pubic and facial hair, deepening of the voice, and less well-defined psychological changes. In girls, puberty is accompanied by breast development, the appearance of pubic hair, and an increase in hip width. In nonprimates, too, several sex-related parameters show accelerated changes at the time of puberty.
KeywordsCongenital Adrenal Hyperplasia Precocious Puberty Mature Sperm Vaginal Opening Pregnant Mare Serum Gonadotropin
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