Secondary Sex Characteristics Flashcards, test questions and answers
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What is Secondary Sex Characteristics?
Secondary sex characteristics are physical traits that distinguish males and females in humans and other animals. They are caused by hormones produced during puberty and adolescence, such as testosterone and estrogen. These hormones affect the physical development of the body, resulting in different phenotypes among sexes. Secondary sex characteristics include things such as facial hair growth, chest size and shape, voice pitch, body fat distribution, muscle development, reproductive organs size and shape, breast size in women, body hair patterns etc. In humans these secondary sex characteristics vary widely depending on a person’s race or ethnicity. For example men of African descent typically have more pronounced facial features such as fuller lips compared to men of European descent who tend to have narrower noses or slimmer faces. Women also tend to differ based on ethnicity with those from Asian backgrounds tending to have flatter chests or less developed curves compared to women from Latin-American backgrounds which may have larger busts or curvier figures. These differences can be attributed to both cultural influences as well as genetic inheritance from one’s ancestors which leads to various combinations of secondary sex characteristics being passed down through generations within families or across societies due to intermarriage between different population groups over time. In addition external factors such as diet can also play a role in influencing one’s phenotype since it can affect how hormones are metabolized leading to changes in secondary sex characteristics over time even within the same individual depending on their lifestyle choices throughout life. Overall secondary sex characteristics can provide us with valuable insights into our evolutionary history while also helping us understand how genetic inheritance has shaped our current physical appearance today which is why they remain an important topic of study for scientists in fields ranging from anthropology to medicine.