Sexual maturity in girls
Appearance of Pubic Hair
In majority of the girls pubic hair appeared before axillary
hair. Pubic hair had started appearing in some girls before
the age of 12 years by which more than 24 per cent of the
girls from all centres except Varanasi, were observed to have
it. By the age of 15 years, pubic hair had appeared in 78.2
(Varanasi) to 100 per cent (Hyderabad) of the girls at various
centres (Fig. 44). The mean age, weight and height at appearance
of pubic hair in these girls was between 11.9 (Chandigarh)
to 13.5 (Varanasi) years, 26.3 (Vellore rural) to 33.3 kg.
(Varanasi) and between 134.3 (Vellore rural) to 143.3 cm.
(Delhi urban slum) respectively (Table 31).
Appearance of Axillary Hair
Axillary hair in girls had also started appearing before
the age of 12 years, by which 7.5 (Vellore rural) to 22.2
(Chandigarh) per cent were observed to have it. By the age
of 15 years 74.8 (Vellore rural) to 98.0 (Hyderabad) per cent
of girls had axillary hair (Fig. 45). In these girls the mean
age at appearance of axillary hair was between 12.9, (Chandigarh)
to 13.4 (Varanasi) years, mean weight 31.3 (Chandigarh) to
35.6 (Vellore urban slum) kg. and mean height between 142.7
(Chandigarh) to 146.5 (Vellore urban slum) cm. (Table 32).
Onset of Menarche
Menarche was reported in 16.9 (Delhi urban slum) to 70.1
per cent (Vellore urban slum) of the girls by the age of 15
years from different study areas. Excluding Delhi sample,
where less than 17 percent were reported to have reached menarche,
mean age, weight and height at onset of menarche in these
girls varied between 13.0 to 14.0 years, 35.5 to 39.0 kg.
and 143.8 to 149.0 cm. (Table 33). A difference of 4 to 6
kg. in mean weight and 4 to 7 cms. in mean height was observed
between the girls who had attained menarche and the total
study sample at similar age points. It was observed that public
and axillary hair in girls appeared before menarche (Fig.
The assessment of age at reaching different stages of breast
development in girls was done in the same manner as genitalia
development in boys. At the time of completion of this study
the percentage of girls in stage V of breast development was
as low as 5.0 (Varanasi) to 48.7 (Vellore urban slum) per
cent at different centres. The mean age at attaining state
II, III, IV and V varied between centres from 11.3 (Delhi
urban slum) to 12.3 (Vellore rural) years,