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Signs & Stages of Puberty in Boys & Girls

In the journey of becoming an adult, a child goes through a certain set of changes that he or she has to face at a certain age. The child undergoes through all kind of changes; physical, mental, and emotional changes which are quite evidently visible in the time when a girl or a boy hits puberty. The process in which a child’s body starts to mature into an adult is known as puberty. Girls undergo puberty earlier than compared to boys. In Girls, puberty starts at around the age of 10 to 12 and ends by the time the girl is 15 to 17. In boys, puberty starts around the age of 12 to 13 and ends around the 17 to 18. Puberty also marks the time when an individual is completely capable of sexual reproduction from the changes they undergo. Growth spurt is usually observed during puberty where the physical height and weight of an individual increases. When a boy or girl reaches a specific age, then he or she starts their journey of Puberty where they start to mature into a full grown adult.

The visible changes of puberty are very obvious and mark the starting of Puberty by the physical change that a child undergoes. Apart from all the physical changes, on the process of maturation, a child also undergoes mental and emotional changes during puberty. Puberty is a normal phenomenon and every adult in the world has undergone through this period in order to be a complete full grown mature adult. Puberty is triggered by the secretion of hormones in our brain, which further sends signals to our body to be prepared for the change that the body will further undergo to become fully mature and developed. The increased secretion of certain hormones by the brain majorly affects the changes that a body has to undergo during puberty. The physical changes that the body undergoes are quite evidently seen in case of both girls and boys as soon as they reach the age where they start to reach their puberty period.

After Puberty a boy or a girl is capable of conceiving an offspring which adds to the evolution of human. Both Boys and Girls undergo the process of puberty with its changes starting and ending during the adolescence period. Due to the large secretion of hormones during puberty, the child often tends to be more distracted along with other behavioral and emotional changes. Mood swings tend to become a part of their life as soon as boys and girls reach their puberty. Some adolescents also become sensitive; whereas some are able to easily accept the change and are able to go with the flow. Both boys and girls also experience a change in their thinking process, as their brain starts to mature with time during puberty. A sense of independence also strikes an adolescent during puberty, as they mature and starts to take up responsibility. As the boy or girl begins to mature with time in the process of puberty, they tend to become very aware of their body and become responsible with time.

Signs & Stages of Puberty in Boys & Girls

The Signs of Puberty in Boys and Girls

The first half stage of the puberty is usually evident due to the drastic change in height and weight in case of both girls and boys. However, girls have their growth spurt quite earlier than that compared of boys. Menarche and ejaculation marks the landmark sign of reaching puberty in girls and boys respectively. The first sign of puberty is believed to be the growth of hair in pubic region. This happens due to the secretion of adrenaline androgen hormone, which is also known as adrenarche. Puberty sets the visible biological differences in Boys and Girls majorly because of all the changes both of the sexes go through during the age when they reach their adolescence period. The common problem that is faced by most of the girls and boys during this stage of puberty is acne. Acne is a common sign of puberty in boys and girls. When both boys and girls reach the age where they slowly start to mature and reach their mid puberty stage, acne is clearly visible and becomes a problem for them. However, proper care and maintenance of skin and keeping your skin clean will helps in dealing with this puberty sign. Another sign of puberty in boys and girls is body odors which are very evident after a person reaches their puberty. It is often observed that boys start to have more body odors than girls. However, the major differences between a girl and boy will be the age at which both of them starts to reach puberty and the sex hormones that secretes in boys and girls are very different. Estrogen is produced in case of girls and testosterone is secreted by boys.

Puberty marks the beginning of the change, after which an individual is capable of reproducing. Puberty marks the beginning of the change that an individual goes through in order to become a full grown adult. An adolescent is also seen to perform most of the cognitive activity with ease, as puberty also marks the maturation of the brain. Brain development is another important sign of puberty. Most of the girls and boys also tend to become very confused during puberty due to all the changes they undergo for the first time. Sometimes, it is advisable for the teenagers to listen to adults because decision making in this period becomes a task, as their mind becomes more skeptical about the surroundings an individual is growing in. The curiosity level is also at its peak during this stage of puberty; hence, learning and gathering knowledge becomes easier and more interesting during this period of time. Also, boys and girls tend to take up or develop a lot of habits during this period.

The Stages of Puberty in Boys and Girls

There are five stages that an individual goes under during the process of puberty. Some of the stages are faced just by boys and some of them are faced by girls alone, which also marks the biological differences between both the sexes:

First Tanner Stage: The tanner stage is the initial stage of reaching puberty, where the brain secretes hormones and sends signal to the body and prepares it for the change it is about to go through. The gonadotropin hormones, which are released by the hypothalamus of the brain is then sent to the pituitary gland which further controls all the other glands in the body. This puberty stage usually begins approximately at the age of 8 in girls and at the age of 9 or 10 in boys.

Second Tanner Stage: The second tanner stage marks the starting of the evident physical changes in an individual. This second stage of puberty can be seen in both boys and girls regardless of their genders. The second tanner stage of puberty usually starts around the age of 9 to 11. In this stage, breasts and uterus starts to develop in girls; and in case of boys, this puberty stage usually starts at the age of eleven, when the reproductive organs of the boys start to develop as well. The growth of pubic hair is also seen in this puberty stage in both the girls and boys.

Third Tanner Stage: In the third tanner stage of puberty, growth spurt remains at its peak. It is observed that girls grow faster and taller than boys in this stage of puberty. The third stage usually begins at the age of 12 in girls; and in case of boys, this third stage of puberty usually occurs at around the age of 13. Acne and pimples can be seen in this stage of puberty in both girls and boys. The voice also begins to change in the 3rd stage of puberty. Boys undergo severe voice change, or a crack in their voice is often observed as the Adams apple begins to expand during this puberty stage. The reproductive organs continue to expand and develop at the same time in case of both boys and girls.

Fourth Tanner Stage: The fourth tanner stage of puberty marks its peak when the changes are in full swing in both the boys and girls. They tend to mature very fast during this puberty stage and also tend to be very sensitive during this time. Adolescents begin to become very aware of their surroundings and their development of personality starts to develop from this stage of puberty. This puberty stage usually starts at around the age of 13 in girls and in case of boys; it starts at around the age of 14. However, these ages also mark the beginning of teenage or adolescence years of the life of the boy and girls. Girls usually start to menstruate during this puberty stage. The age when girls get their menstruation is generally from the age of 12 to the age of 14; however, some girls may get their periods earlier or late also from late blooming. But in case a girl doesn’t get their menstruation during the fourth stage of puberty, then it is advisable to take an appointment with a doctor and get a health check up as soon as possible.

In case of boys, in the 4th stage of puberty, the voice of the boys becomes deeper and less shrill. There is growth of facial hair, pubic hair and armpit hair seen in this puberty stage in boys. With time, the reproduction organs of boys start to mature and become capable to reproducing. Girls become capable of conceiving a child and boys have matured reproductive organs during this puberty stage.

Fifth Tanner Stage: The fifth tanner stage of puberty is the last stage of puberty. This puberty stage marks the end of physical maturation which a boy or girl goes through when they hit their puberty. In the last puberty stage, both girls and boys have matured through all the other four stages that they go through in their puberty. All the organs are highly developed and both of the sexes, girls and boys, start to accept the changes that they have undergone during the period of puberty. At around the age of 14, girls are believed to have matured. The physical difference between a girl and a boy is vividly visible in this last stage of puberty. Girls start to menstruate normally and all their reproductive organs are by now fully developed and matured. In the case of boys, this puberty stage usually starts at the age of 15 and ends at the age of 18. All reproductive organs are matured like that of an adult man. However, the growth spurt declines at this puberty stage, but the muscles of the boys start to expand.


Adolescents need a lot of time to accept the changes that they go through. Apart from the physical changes which are observed in boys and girls, all teenagers also go through drastic changes emotionally and mentally. Mood swings too remain at peak during puberty. However, everyone has undergone puberty to completely mature into an adult human being. The sudden change in thinking and behavior marks an onset of puberty that an adolescent will soon start going through to mature into a full bloom person. They began to notice and accept the change that they go through in all aspects; mentally, physically and emotionally. They become more aware of their surroundings and thus create their life based on their own morals and ethics. Puberty is a scientific process that an individual undergoes through. After the completion of all the stages and after reaching at a certain age, which marks the end of the puberty phase, individuals become capable of reproducing. By the end of puberty, an individual is also capable of making their own decision and leading their own individual life and thought process.

puberty stages, physical changes, mental changes, emotional changes, signs of puberty, reproductive capabilities, supporting adolescents, open communication.


  1. WebMD – Puberty: https://www.webmd.com/children/guide/preparing-your-daughter-for-puberty
  2. Mayo Clinic – Puberty: https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/childrens-health/in-depth/puberty/art-20047698
  3. KidsHealth – All About Puberty: https://kidshealth.org/en/parents/understanding-puberty.html
  4. Verywell Family – A Guide to Puberty for Boys and Girls: https://www.verywellfamily.com/puberty-in-boys-and-girls-2634474
  5. American Academy of Pediatrics – Understanding Puberty: https://www.healthychildren.org/English/ages-stages/gradeschool/puberty/Pages/Understanding-Puberty.aspx

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Pramod Kerkar, M.D., FFARCSI, DA
Pramod Kerkar, M.D., FFARCSI, DA
Written, Edited or Reviewed By: Pramod Kerkar, M.D., FFARCSI, DA Pain Assist Inc. This article does not provide medical advice. See disclaimer
Last Modified On:August 1, 2023

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