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The Chemistry Behind Responses

Functions and Regulation of Hormone

Have you ever wondered why only boys develop moustaches and girls do not?

At the time of puberty, both males and females acquire different body features which help in distinguishing them from each other. These specific features which differentiate boys from girls or males from females are called secondary sex characteristics.

Let us discuss about secondary sex characteristics in boys and girls.

Secondary sex characteristics in boys

  • Under the influence of hormones, larynx grows prominently, vocal cords become longer and thicker, causing the voice to become hoarse.

  • Hair start growing in the frontal region of the genital area.

  • Appearance of hair in other areas such as underarms, legs, chest, abdomen, face, etc.

  • Enlargement of testicles followed by penis.

  • More secretion of oil from the skin, resulting in the appearance of acne.

  • Testes grow and start producing sperms.

Secondary sex characteristics in girls

  • Increase in breast size and the darkening of the skin of nipples present at the tips of the breasts.

  • Appearance of hair in the genital area.

  • Appearance of hair in other areas such as underarms, hands, legs, etc.

  • Increase in the size of uterus and ovary.

  • Beginning of menstrual cycle.

  • More secretion of oil from the skin, resulting in the appearance of acne.

But do you know that some secondary sex characteristics are common in both boys and girls?

These common changes are:

  • Growth of hair in genital area and other parts.

  • Growth of reproductive organs.

  • More secretion of oil from skin, resulting in the formation of acne.

But what factors lead to the development of secondary sex characteristics in males and females?

The development of secondary sex characteristics is under the control of hormones in bodies of both males and females. In males, the hormone called testosterone secreted by the testes causes the growth of facial hair. Similarly, the hormone called estrogen secreted by the ovaries in females cause the development of breasts.

The production of the testosterone and the estrogen is under the control of another hormone secreted by the pituitary gland.

Endocrine glands are ductless glands, which release their secretions called hormones into the bloodstream. But how do these hormones work? And how do they bring about changes in the body? Let us find out.

All endocrine glands release their hormonal secretions into blood. These hormones, on reaching a particular site in the body called the target site, bring about necessary changes to maintain proper functioning of the body.

Let us take examples of…

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