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Sexual maturity

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Sexual maturity

Sexual maturity is the age or stage when an reproduce. It is sometimes considered synonymous with adulthood. In humans, the process of sexually maturing is termed puberty.

Most sexually reproduce at birth (or germination), and depending on the species, it may be days, weeks, or years until their bodies are able to do so. Also, certain cues may cause the organism to become sexually mature. They may be external, such as drought, or internal, such as percentage of body fat (such internal cues are not to be confused with hormones which directly produce sexual maturity).

Sexual maturity is brought about by a maturing of the reproductive organs and the production of secondary sex characteristics, and often represent an increase in sexual dimorphism. For example, before puberty, human children have flat chests, but adult females have generally larger breasts than adult males. However, there are exceptions such as obesity and hormone imbalances such as gynecomastia.

After sexual maturity is achieved, it is possible for some organisms to become infertile, or even to change their sex. Some organisms are neoteny refers to when non-sexual development is slowed - but the result is the same, the retention of juvenile characteristics into adulthood).

See also

External links

  • Survivor bashing - bias motivated hate crimes
  • The Science Of Sexual Orientation
  • The SexEdLibrary
  • "The H-Word" by Paul Niquette
  • Etiology on glbtq.com
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