Puberty is the period of rapid physical growth and sexual maturation in adolescence.  It starts earlier for girls than for boys.  For girls, the average age is 11 or 12 years old and for boys the average is 13 or 14, but the range for when it begins can be from 6 to 16.  Puberty ends about four years after it starts.  It tends to be done around 16, but some boys keep growing until their early 20’s.  Puberty starts when the pituitary gland in the brain tells the body to start producing estrogen and progesterone for girls and testosterone and other androgens, or male sex hormones, for boys (Berger, 2018; Feldman, 2014; Sargis, 2020).


Berger, K. S. (2018). The developing person: Through Childhood and adolescence (11th

ed.). New York, NY: Worth.  

Feldman, R. S. (2014). Child development: A topical approach. Boston, MA: Pearson. 

Sargis, R. M. (2020). An overview of the ovaries:  Estrogen, progesterone, and reproduction. Retrieved from