Overview of Sexual Development

Sexual development is the gradual process of reaching sexual maturity. Sexual development involves physical and emotional growth and is affected by a combination of biological, genetic (hereditary), and environmental factors. Overall health and wellness also has a considerable effect on sexual development.

Although most sexual development takes place during puberty (adolescence), the process actually begins before birth and continues throughout life. As with other aspects of growth and development (e.g., height, weight, emotional maturity), each person develops sexually at his or her own pace.

Publication Review By: Stanley J. Swierzewski, III, M.D.

Published: 26 Dec 2008

Last Modified: 15 May 2012