A characteristic, such as breast development, voice pitch, or facial hair, that distinguishes the sexes from each other but is not directly concerned with reproduction. The appearance of these characteristics is influenced by hormones. Sex Pistols Read more in this article about some frequently asked questions and fun facts related to our definitions. Nearby words secondary road , secondary saturation , secondary school , secondary sensory nucleus , secondary seventh chord , secondary sex characteristic , secondary sexual characteristic , secondary spermatocyte , secondary storage , secondary stress , secondary structure. Origin of secondary sex characteristic First recorded in —
secondary sex characteristic
What are secondary sex characteristics? | HowStuffWorks
Secondary sex characteristics are features that appear during puberty in humans , and at sexual maturity in other animals. These are particularly evident in the sexually dimorphic phenotypic traits that distinguish the sexes of a species, but unlike the sex organs , are not directly part of the reproductive system. They are believed to be the product of sexual selection for traits which display fitness , giving an individual an advantage over its rivals in courtship and aggressive interactions. They are distinguished from the primary sex characteristics , the sex organs, which are directly necessary for sexual reproduction to occur. Secondary sex characteristics include manes of male lions and long feathers of male peafowl , the tusks of male narwhals , enlarged proboscises in male elephant seals and proboscis monkeys , the bright facial and rump coloration of male mandrills , and horns in many goats and antelopes , and these are believed to be produced by a positive feedback loop known as the Fisherian runaway produced by the secondary characteristic in one sex and the desire for that characteristic in the other sex. Male birds and fish of many species have brighter coloration or other external ornaments. Differences in size between sexes are also considered secondary sexual characteristics.
Secondary Sex Characteristics: Definition & Explanation
While primary sex characteristics are those that are present at birth, secondary sex characteristics are those that appear during puberty. These secondary sex characteristics are caused by hormones released at the time of puberty, which usually is around two years earlier in girls than in boys. While both boys and girls grow taller in their teenage years, the male body becomes more muscular, and the shoulders grow broader than the hips, while the female's hips become wider than her shoulders, and breasts develop. Some of the first changes in a boy are the growth of his testicles and growth of pubic hair.
The sample included white, African American, and Mexican American boys. All 3 groups were significantly taller and heavier than boys in previous NHANES reports and showed earlier genital maturation and pubic hair growth than previous studies based on Tanner staging. Additional studies are required to further evaluate these findings and to explore the public health implications.