Man lies at about the middle of the primate range, as regards both adolescent size increase and degree of sexual differentiation. As always in growth, there are considerable individual differences, to the point that a few children have no detectable spurt at all in some face measurements. At birth the typical boy is growing slightly faster than the typical girl, but the velocities become equal at about seven months, and then the girl grows faster until four years. The subcutaneous fat layer also has a curve of its own, of a slightly complicated sort. Graphs of the amounts of subcutaneous fat on males and females from birth to 16 years revealed that from eight years on, the curves for girls and boys diverge more radically, as do the curves for limb and body fat. The size attained by various tissues can be given as a percentage of the birth-to-maturity increment. At puberty, a considerable alteration in growth rate occurs. One examiner held his head in contact with a fixed board, and a second person stretched him out to his maximum length and then brought a moving board into contact with his heels.
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