Humans reproduce sexually. Reproduction in humans is in two parts:
- Reproductive system
- Fertilization, pregnancy and development of the embryo
Human Reproductive System
Maturity of human sex organs begins with puberty, the name given to the changes that occur in boys and girls as they grow up. Mostly these changes occur between the age of 10 to 14 years, and these are brought about by certain hormones.
During puberty the body grows rapidly, and both primary and secondary reproductive organs grow and become mature. Along with these changes, secondary sex characters also start appearing. It is also to be noted that in males, sexual maturity is attained at the age of 13–14 years and in females, at the age of 11–13 years. Puberty ultimately leads to a stage when the child becomes an adolescent.
During adolescence, the secondary sexual characters that develop are as follows:
- In males, these include deepening of voice, widening of shoulders, muscular body, appearance of beard and moustache, growth of axillary and pubic hair, enlargement of external genital organs.
- In females, the changes include growth of axillary and pubic hair, widening of pelvis and hip, enlargement of breasts and initiation of the menstrual cycle.