3.12 understand the roles of oestrogen and testosterone in the development of secondary sexual characteristics.

Females –

Oestrogen – Secreted by ovaries

  • Stops FSH being produced so that only one egg matures in a cycle
  • Stimulate the pituitary gland’s release of LH
  • Controls the female development of female secondary sexual characteristics

Progesterone – Secreted by ovaries

  • Maintains the lining of the uterus during the menstrual cycle and pregnancy


Secondary Sex Characteristic Why does it develop?
Pubic Hair To protect sexual organs
Hips get wider To prepare the body for birth
Underarm hair grows Keeps it warm
Sexual organs develop and grow To prepare the body for reproduction
Breasts develop To provide milk for babies
Ovaries start to release egg cells – menstruation starts To allow for fertalization
Voice deepens gradually


Males –

Testosterone – produced by the testes

  • Controls the development of male secondary characteristics


Secondary sex characteristic Why does it develop
Voice Breaks To attract females
Hair grows on face and body To attract females
Body becomes more masculine To attracts females
Pubic Hair Grows To protect sexual organs
Underarm hair grows To keep warm
Sexual Organ grows and develops To prepare the body for reproduction
Testes starts to produce sperm cells To reproduce



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