These characters are seen in boys and girls at the time of
puberty and help to distinguish male and
female. In boys the secondary sexual characters are
development of facial hair i.e., mustache and beards and development of hairs on the chest. In
the girls the secondary sexual characters are development of breasts. In both boys and girls hair
grows in different parts of the body.
The secondary sexual characteristics begin to appear during puberty as a result of hormonal stimulation. They become apparent first in females, a little later in males.
In childhood the male and female bodies are very similar. The main difference is found in the external sex organs i.e. in the primary sexual characteristics.
During puberty females develop their secondary sexual characteristics of which the breasts are the most obvious. At the same time, their hips grow wider than their shoulders. The young teenage girl shown here is just experiencing the first of these and other physica! changes.
In adult females the secondary sexual characteristics are fully developed. Most noticeable are the generally rounder and softer body and the breasts
Females experience the physical changes of puberty in the following order: First, the breasts begin to enlarge. Then some straight and later kinky or curly hair appears on the vulva. This pubic hair forms a triangle pointing downward. Eventually, some hair will also appear in the armpits (railed axillary hair). During this time, the body grows in height, and the hips become wider than the shoulders.