Puberty has a clear physiological signpost in girls: sooner or later, they have their first period. That’s been a critical part of identifying genes that influence when puberty starts in girls, but it wasn’t clear whether those genes also affected boys the same way.
Everybody goes through puberty differently. For me, height came first: I shot up 5-inches during the summer before high school – and there was definitely some mental whiplash when I could suddenly see over a lot of my classmates’ heads. Tell us how your body first let you know there were some changes on the way!
Maybe you grew so fast it left stretch marks on your legs. Or your voice started cracking every time you got on the phone. Or you hated needing to wear a bra. Growing up means going through puberty. It’s an integral part of becoming an adult. But we still don’t know how our bodies start the process.
Sometimes, bad luck leads to insights. A study published today in the Journal of Clinical Investigation has added a new twist to our understanding of the way the system that controls puberty in mammals develops inside the brain – thanks to two brothers who both inherited the same rare disorder.
As soon as orangutans go through puberty, they are pretty much expected to find a mate and start making babies. But as sexually frustrated high schoolers the world over will tell you, that's easier said than done.