5 Stages of Puberty for Boys
With questions and answers below.

  1. Normal Age Range: 9-12, Average: about 10
    Male hormones are becoming active, but there are hardly, if any, outside signs of development. Testicles are maturing, and some boys start a period of rapid growth late in this stage.
  2. Normal Age Range: 9-15, Average: 12-13
    Testicles and scrotum begin to enlarge, but penis size doesn’t increase much. Very little, if any, pubic hair at the base of the penis. Increase in height and change in body shape.
  3. Normal Age Range: 11-16, Average: 13-14
    Penis starts to grow in length, but not much in width. Testicles and scrotum still growing. Pubic hair starts to get darker and coarser and is spreading towards the legs. Height growth continues and body/face shape look more adult. Voice begins to deepen (and crack). Some hair around the anus grows.
  4. Normal Age Range: 11-17, Average: 14-15
    Penis width increases, as well as length. Testicles and scrotum still growing. Pubic hair begins to take adult texture, although covers a smaller area. Most boys have first ejaculations. Underarm hair develops. Facial hair increases on chin and upper lip. Voice gets deeper and skin gets more oily.
  5. Normal Age Range: 14-18, Average: around 16
    Nearing full adult height and physique. Pubic hair and genitals have adult appearance. Facial hair grows more completely and shaving may begin now or soon. During the late teens and early twenties, some men grow a bit more and develop more body hair, especially chest hair.

Question: John (14) asks…
My voice hasn’t deepened very much yet, in fact people call me “ma’am” when I talk on the phone. I have all the hair, but my penis hasn’t grown much at all yet. When is this supposed to happen? I just started to shave my face about a month ago.

Answer: You seem to be in the heart of Puberty — with rapid changes, yet the concern that you’re not developing fast enough. You seem to be around Stage 4 in development, so expect a rapid conclusion to puberty!


Question: Michael (17) asks…
I am 17 and have not fully developed yet. Is there anything I can do to speed this process up?

Answer: Well, no, not really. Time is the only cure. You didn’t give me any details, but the chart below should help you determine where you’re at, and whether you’re “late” or not.


Question: Matt (16) asks…
I have very little pubic hair, and have not yet had a voice crack or wet dream. I am also five foot one. I am frustrated because of my physical maturity. Do I have anything to worry about. When will I start to mature more!

Answer: It’s probably very frustrating to mature later than many of your friends, but you’re probably just a year behind (see below). How early/late your development is is partly determined by your genetics: you will most likely develop at a similar rate as your parents did. You may want to ask them, first, about height (“Dad, how old where you when you got taller?”) which is easier to ask than about puberty. I wouldn’t worry too much, but if it really bothers you, you should talk to your doctor about it at your next physical.

Credit: J. Geoff Malta, MA, EdM, NCC Adolescent Therapist