The prepubertal child has an active hypothalamic-pituitary-gonadal axis. Small but measurable amounts of sex steriods and gonadotropic hormones exist before the time of sexual maturation and interact in a negative feedback fashion. Puberty in man involves a change in the level of activity of the negative feedback system and the appearance of a positive feedback relationship between gonad and neural centers.
Kulin, Howard E.
"The Physiology of Adolescence in Man,"
1, Article 14.
Available at: https://digitalcommons.wayne.edu/humbiol/vol46/iss1/14