Puberty for Boys

Stage 1 Age range:
Average age:
Male hormones are becoming active but there are hardly any outward signs of development. Testicles are maturing slowly. Some boys start a period of rapid growth late in this stage.




Stage 2 Age range:
Average age:
Testicles and scrotum begin to enlarge, but penis size does not increase much. Very little pubic hair at the base of the penis. Increase in voice and height become noticeable.
Stage 3
Age range:
Average age:
Penis starts to grow in length, but not in width. Testicles and scrotum are still growing. Pubic hair starts to get darker and coarser. Height growth continues. Body and face shape continue to look more like an adult. Voice begins to deepen and sometimes crack. First traces of hair on upper lip. Pimples may develop.
Stage 4 Age range:
Average age:
Penis width increases as well as length. Testicles and scrotum still grow. Pubic hair begins to thicken, most boys have ejaculations. Underarm hair develops and facial hair increases on chin and upper lip. Voice gets deepper and skin becomes oilier. Pimples may continue.
Stage 5
Age range:
Average age:
Nearing full adult height and body shape. Pubic hair and genitals have adult appearance. Facial hair grows more completely. Shaving may begin now or soon. Body hair (especially in the chest) continues to grow.  

Body facts:

  • During puberty a boys larynx (voice box) grows and his voice gets deeper. His voice may sound scratchy or squeaky at first, but usually it only lasts a few months. Once the larynx finishes growing, a boy’s voice smoothes over and sounds deeper.
  • Boys can see the larynx growing. As it gets bigger the larynx tilts and pushes out the neck, called the Adam’s apple.
  • Boys also begin develop larger muscles in their arms, legs, chest and other areas. About half of boys will also notice a swelling or growth in the breasts. This is completely normal and will go away in a few months.
  • Boys often grow quickly during puberty. Getting taller quickly may make you feel awkward or clumsy. Remember that this is normal and you will settle into your body soon.
  • During puberty, it’s especially important to watch your hygiene. Boys should shower every day and make sure to thouroughly wash the penis and scrotum with a mild soap. Boys who are uncircumcised should pull back the foreskin and wash the glans (or head) of the penis thoroughly. Using deoderant or antipersperant daily is critical to help control body odor.
  • Boys will begin to experience erections during puberty. During an erection a penis becomes hard or erect. They can happen for no reason at all.
  • Some boys have “wet dreams” or nocturnal emissions. These happen when a boy ejaculates (releases semen from the penis) while sleeping. After a wet dream, the sheets or your underwear may be a bit wet. This is normal and nothing to be embarrassed about.
  • Boys should wear athletic support or a cup when playing a sport or participating in an atheletic activity to keep the penis and testicles from injury.

The picture below shows the male anatomy as he grows.


Puberty information for both genders!


Teeth and mouth: Brush your teeth twice a day in the morning and at night. Floss at least once, this is even more important if you have braces because food can get stuck in the brackets or under the wires. Remember that braces are very common among young people!

Body Hair: There is no medical reason to remove body hair, but it is common in many cultures. Shaving and waxing are two methods for removing hair. Ask an adult family member to show you how. Use a sharp razor and soap or shaving cream.

Genitals:  Both males and females should wash their genitals with mild soap and water every day. Watch out for infections: if your genitals become itchy, swollen or irritated, go to the doctor for treatment. Wearing cotton underwear and keeping your genitals clean and dry can help prevent infection.

Hair: Hormones make the oil producing glands in your skin and scalp more active. You can keep your hair clean by washing it regularly. You only need to wash your hair once a day, using a gentle shampoo for your hair type. A conditioner may be used if your hair is prone to tangles. Avoid using too many styling products which can make the problem worse.

Skin: Pimples occur when a hair follicle or pore is clogged by dirt or too much oil on the skin. Wash your face with soap or a gentle cleanser twice a day. Don’t wash your face too often or scrub too hard. That can dry out or irritate skin, and sometimes produce more oil. Never pop pimples; they can become infected and cause scarring. Pimples can appear on your arms, back, chest and even buttocks so make sure to wash all over when you’re taking a bath or shower.

Body Odor: Sweat glands become more active during puberty. The extra sweat, combined with bacteria which lives on the skin, can make for a more noticeable body odor. Use deodorant or antiperspirant under your arms after showering. You may need to try several different ones to find one you like.


  • Don’t be embarrassed! Puberty happens to everyone, and it is very normal.
  • Ask questions! Parents and trusted adults will be able to answer questions, they went through puberty too. You can also get more information at the library or online.
  • Stay healthy! Getting plenty of sleep and exercising will help you feel much better.
  • Avoid alcohol, tobacco and drugs. These are bad for everyone but can especially harm a growing body.
  • Don’t skip meals or diet unless the doctor says you need to. Growing bodies gain and lose weight many times before reaching your final size. Eat plenty of fruits and vegetables and whole grains. Go easy on the sugary snacks and sodas.
  • If you are having a bad day, talk with someone! Everyone has moods of anger, sadness and confusion and the best way to handle them is through talking with someone you trust.
  • Laugh a lot, puberty isn’t always funny, but if you can make jokes and smile it will become easier.