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West Afr J Med. 1997 Jan-Mar;16(1):6-11.

Normal pattern of pubertal changes in Nigerian boys.

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Medical Students' Research Society, University of Nigeria Teaching Hospital, Enugu, Nigeria.


To find out the mean age of onset of puberty among Nigerians boys and the correlation between the various physical features of puberty, a randomised community based survey was done. Biographical data were obtained from 162 urban school boys and 304 rural school boys using questionnaire and physical examination. The sexual maturation of the subjects were staged using the standard criteria/photoplates developed by Tanner1 for the pubic hair and external genitalia. Sexual maturation of Nigerian boys was observed to start between 9 to 15 years of age. Most often there is a close concordance between stages of genitalia maturation and pubic hair stages at each age but stages of both features can be entirely discordant. Genitalia maturation is always ahead of pubic hair stages. Maturation starts at the same age in both urban and rural boys but urban boys complete maturation faster than rural boys. By 19 years of age most rural and urban boys have fully matured. Compared with works done by previous authors on boys from developed countries, this data will suggest that Nigerian boys start their sexual development later than boys from developed countries.

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