As early as the toddler stage of development, girls and boys begin to notice a difference in gender. Depending on your heredity and environment, this awakening may happen at a faster or slower pace. I am sure we’ve all heard the phrase used that girls mature faster than boys. We usually begin to make these observations based on biology and physical characteristics that happen around puberty; ages 10-14 for girls and 12-16 for boys. Why is there a 2 year gap between boys and girls at the onset of puberty?
The word Mature is defined in the Webster’s Dictionary when used as a verb of a person: when an advanced stage is reached mentally or emotionally.
The X and the Y chromosomes determines what sex the embryo is going to be. This happens at the very moment of conception. The female gamete is X and the male gamete is either X or Y. When the sperm fertilizes the egg, the male X or Y gamete determines the sex of the embryo. If the male X gamete fertilizes the egg, its a girl and if the Y gamete, its a boy(The Y sperms typically swim faster than the X sperms to the egg). During the gestation period, all embryos are identical male or female. But around week 6, If the egg was fertilized by an X chromosome, the embryo goes on to mature by the “default system.” If the egg has been fertilized by a Y chromosome, the hormonal switch begins to happen. This hormonal process takes two weeks to destroy and dissolve the “female” structures and for male reproductive organs to begin forming. In a nutshell, females have a two week head start in the womb!
Generally speaking, the two year gap at puberty between girls and boys has grown over time from the two weeks it took to become male in the womb! And this is why psychological speaking, females MATURE faster than males.