PUBERTY AND GONADS
Puberty may be defined as that age at which the reproductive system of a boy or a girl becomes functional and production of sex hormones gets started. In other words puberty is that age at which a boy or a girl becomes capable to reproduce. The onset of puberty takes place at different age in boys and girls. Boys attain puberty at the age of 13 to 14 years, while the girls attain puberty a little earlier than boys at the age of 10 to 12 years.
The reproductive organs of humans where gametes are produced are called gonads or primary sex organs. In males the gonads are called testes, while in females these are called ovary.
The production of sperms in males and eggs in female from the testes and ovaries respectively starts in human beings only on attaining puberty. Gonads are also responsible for the production of sex hormones in addition to gametes. For example, the male gonad or testes produce the male sex hormone called testosterone, while the female gonad or ovary produce two female sex hormones: estrogen and progesterone. These sex hormones also play a very important role in the process of sexual reproduction.