Peripubescence is the phase of development that is at the first onset of puberty or in the early stages of puberty.
It is commonly believed that "puberty" begins when secondary sexual characteristics begin to appear, such as when axillary hair ("armpit" hair), and pubic hair appear. In fact, puberty begins before any of these obvious signs appear.
Hormonal changes which precede obvious signs of puberty may begin between the ages of 7 to 10 years old. This stage is the prepubescent stage of human development.
For a discussion of this, see: The magical age of 10? | Heretic TOC, Tom O'Carrol's blog.
His blog is based on the paper linked to below. Here is the abstract of that paper:
- Developmental processes of “puberty” and their cultural contexts in understanding the emergence of sexual subjectivity, especially sexual attraction, prior to gonadarche are critically examined. In particular, we consider the hypothesis that “sexual attraction” follows the onset of adrenal puberty, termed adrenarche, precipitating the development of stable and memorable attraction toward others approximately by the age of 10. In a prior study, the authors suggested that adrenarche is a significant source of this developmental change in sexuality (McClintock, M., and Herdt, G., 1996). The inferential evidence from New Guinea is compared with recent studies from the United States, including clinical findings on “precocious puberty.” We conclude with the question of whether the age of 10 is a human universal in the development of attraction and sexuality.
The Kinsey Report
The Kinsey Report examined the sexuality of young males as well as adults.
Chapter five is devoted to early sexual growth and activity and first sets out to define erotic arousal and orgasm, noting the variation in pattern of orgastic response in individuals.
It is also noted that much of the data pertaining to the different kinds of orgastic reactions in pre-adolescent boys, was supplied by older subjects who have had sexual contacts with younger boys.
Pre-adolescent sex-play, including homosexual play, heterosexual play, and animal contacts are looked at.
Finally, adolescence, including physical developments, age and school grade at beginning of adolescence, and sources of first ejaculation are considered.
One significant finding was that more than 99% of these boys adopted a regular routine of sexual activity after the initial experience of ejaculation. “
https://www.ipce.info/sites/ipce.info/files/biblio_attachments/herdt_-_the_magical_age_of_10_2000.pdf The Magical Age of 10 (.PDF)
- Infant and Child Sexuality: A Sociological Perspective by Floyd Martinson
- Download chapter 5 - Early Sexual Growth and Activity, from Sexual Behavior in the Human Male (1948), Kinsey et al., as a .PDF file: