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Chapter 8

46-333 Chapter Notes - Chapter 8: Menarche, System Programming, Gonad

Course Code
PSYC 3330

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Chapter 8
Adolescent Physical Development
Puberty: all the hormonal and physical changes that
contribute to sexual maturity.
Takes on an average of five years and today is typically
an early teenage change.
Puberty Trends
The Secular ( long-term) Trend
The regular decline in the age of puberty (signaled by
menarche) in developing countries.
In 1830, the average age of menarche in Northern
Europe was over 17.
Today, the age has fallen to under 13.
The Hormonal Programmers
Two Systems:
Androgens - produced by adrenal glands
Promote growth of hair; influence skin changes;
program sexual desire.
Androgens begin secretion in middle childhood.
HPG Axis (Hypothalamic, Pituitary, Gonad)
Main system programming the body changes.

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Hypothalamus triggers the pituitary to secrete its
hormones, which in turn, triggers the gonads to
secrete their hormones, which produce major body
Testes: testosterone
Ovaries: estrogen
Classifying the Physical Changes
Primary Sexual Characteristics
Changes directly involved in reproduction
Growth of uterus, maturation of the ovaries,
onset of menarche.
Growth of penis, testes, onset of spermache
Secondary Sexual Characteristics
Physical changes not related to reproduction
Hair growth, voice changes, acne, breast
Growth Spurt
Dramatic increase in weight and height
Opposite of the cephalocaudal sequence
Puberty Timetables: Individual Differences
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