Timing and Pace of Changes in Puberty in Belarusian Polesye Schoolchildren Surveyed in 1976-1978 and in 2010-2012

DOI: 10.14673/IJA2015341019
Published in Int. Journal of Anthropology – Vol. 30 – n.3-4 – 2015

Key words: puberty, secondary sex characteristics, Belarusian Polesye schoolchildren, menarche.

Abstract
This article presents the results of a comparative analysis of indicators characterizing the development of secondary sex characteristics of Belarusian Polesye schoolchildren surveyed in 1976-1978 and in 2010-2012, from which the earlier onset of puberty in boys today was established. However, the pace of the development of secondary sex characteristics (pubic and axillary hair growth) was slower than that of boys surveyed 40 years ago, as a result of which the definitive stage of development, when sexual features are fully developed, was reached at the same time by both groups of boys.
Modern girls, on the other hand, began to mature and reached the definitive stage of development for secondary sex characteristics (enlarged breasts, pubic and axillary hair) significantly earlier (p <0.001) than their predecessors in the late 1970s. After 40 years, the average age at menarche had decreased by 1 year and 5 months.

Melnik, V.
Department of Normal Physiology, Gomel State Medical University, Gomel, Republic of Belarus.
E-mail: melnik76@tut.by

Kozakevich, N.
Department of Human Anatomy, Gomel State Medical University, Gomel, Republic of Belarus.
E-mail: natasa-1980@mail.ru