A Genealogy of Puberty Science explores the modern invention of puberty as a scientific object. Drawing on Foucault’s genealogical analytic, Pinto and Macleod trace the birth of puberty science in the early 1800s and follow its expansion and shifting discursive frameworks over the course of two centuries.

Offering a critical inquiry into the epistemological and political roots of our present pubertal complex, this book breaks the almost complete silence concerning puberty in critical theories and research about childhood and adolescence. Most strikingly, the book highlights the failure ​of ongoing medical debates on early puberty to address young people’s sexual and reproductive embodiment and citizenships.

A Genealogy of Puberty Science will be of great interest to academics, researchers and postgraduate students in the fields of child and adolescent ​health research, critical psychology, developmental psychology, health psychology, ​feminist and gender studies, ​medical history, science and technology studies, and sexualities and reproduction studies.

chapter Chapter 1|31 pages


Towards a history of the present

part 1|57 pages

Precocious little monsters

chapter Chapter 2|16 pages

Child monstrosity and the dilemma of nature

chapter Chapter 3|18 pages

The monster, the modest girl, and the masturbating boy

chapter Chapter 4|21 pages

Accounting for the mature-immature body

part 2|46 pages

From biological to cultural monstrosities

chapter Chapter 6|22 pages

The biosocial reconfigured

Puberty onset and the emergence of epidemiological risk

part 3|76 pages

The surveillance of all

chapter Chapter 7|26 pages

A most dangerous condition

Puberty science and the surveillance of all

chapter Chapter 9|25 pages


Puberty in crisis