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Question Video: Identifying the Life Stage That Initiates Ddevelopment of Secondary Sexual Characteristics Biology

At what stage in life do the majority of secondary sexual characteristics most commonly appear? [A] During infancy [B] During adulthood [C] During puberty [D] During old age

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Video Transcript

At what stage in life do the majority of secondary sexual characteristics most commonly appear? During infancy, during adulthood, during puberty, or during old age.

Let’s approach this question by first defining the key term secondary sexual characteristic so we can figure out when they will appear in humans. Secondary sexual characteristics are physically observable traits that develop during a period in adolescence called puberty and are not directly involved in reproduction. Secondary sexual characteristics can be similar in both biological males and females, for example, growth of pubic hair, but they often physically distinguish males from females. For example, usually only females develop breasts that would be capable of producing milk after childbirth to feed a newborn baby.

The release of high quantities of sex hormones triggers the development of these secondary sexual characteristics. And different concentrations of typically male and typically female sex hormones will determine the different characteristics that appear in the two biological sexes. The release of high quantities of these sex hormones begins to occur during a stage called puberty. Puberty is a stage in adolescence when humans reach sexual maturity and become capable of sexual reproduction even if they might not be emotionally or mentally ready for it yet. Therefore, the life stage at which the majority of secondary sexual characteristics most commonly appear is during puberty.

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