The Boys' Growing Up in the Lord

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I grew armpit hair in fifth grade, when I was 11. I am 13 now and I haven't really seen any changes. My penis is still small (2 inches limp and erect it is 4 inches). I am having trouble accepting it, but I just don't understand. I grew under arm hair when I was 11, but I haven't experienced any changes since then, except for a little bit of pubic hair. Can you tell me if I'm going to grow?

El (age 13)


Growth doesn't happen all at once, nor is development a gradual process. It comes in spurts -- a little here and a little there. One month it might be that your feet increase two shoe sizes. Another month it might be that you develop leg hair. In still another month, some of your internal organs might be getting bigger. If everything grew at once, your body wouldn't have enough energy to sustain all the growth. Instead of growing, you would become a skeleton.

There is a rough sequence to growth. Certain things have to be in place before other changes can come. For example, if your legs grew before your feet, you would have a tough time balancing. It would be similar to walking on stilts. Thus your feet grow large first, giving you a firm foundation, and then your legs get longer.

Outside changes are easily noted, but some of the changes must take place inside to support what you see externally. For example, in order for your body to get bigger, your heart must increase in size so that it can get your blood to the new extremes of your body. But you can't see your heart increasing in size and while that is happening you might not see any other external changes for a while. The same goes for other internal organs, such as your liver (to filter all that blood), your kidneys, and your bladder

Your brain is also going through periods of massive rewiring. Connections have to be started before you can have erections, sexual desire, and ejaculations. The systems needed to develop sperm, make semen, make pre-ejaculate (pre-cum), and the muscles needed to ejaculate must develop and start acting in a coordinated fashion. All of this is internal. You can't see it, but it doesn't mean it is not taking place.

At age 13, your penis size is typical for a male. You won't reach full adult size until somewhere around 15 or 16 (after your growth spurt) based on the fact that you were in stage 2 of development at age 11).

There are probably a number of small things that are changing that you haven't noticed that I could point out, but since I don't know you, I can only guess.

  • Most likely your testicles have been steadily getting larger. Of all the changes, these are the most steady. The following chart shows the relative size of a testicle from infant to adult male. Orchidometer: Used to measure testicle size and track sexual development in boys. The numbers are in milliliters. To relate the size of your testicle to the Tanner stage of development:
  • It sounds like you are in stage 2 at the moment. One of the things that is happening during this stage is that your body is building up fat to fuel your growth. At the moment you are probably a bit chubbier than you were as a child.
  • Signs that you are entering stage 3 where your most rapid growth will come are:
    • You will find that your feet and hands look "too big" for your body size. Have you noticed that you need larger shoes, sometimes jumping two shoe sizes in a month or out growing your new shoes within a month or two?
    • Your pubic hair, while still thin and fine, will fill in the groin from leg to leg
    • Your areola, the ring around your nipples on your chest, gets larger and darkens.

It is during the later part of stage 3 that your penis will grow in length and in stage 4 where it will grow in circumference (width). So relax. You're developing just fine. Your body has a lot of changes to make, on the inside and outside. It will take about eight to ten years for the changes to get done and you are only a few years into your development. To estimate what stage of development you are in, see the Tanner Stage Calculator for Boys.