The Boys' Growing Up in the Lord

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Stages of Development in Adolescent Males

Stage 4 - Growth in Height Slows Down

Tanner Stages: Young Man throwing football  serving as an example at Stage 4: Drawing by Jeffrey W. Hamilton

Typical Age Range

This stage starts when the adolescent growth spurt slows down to childhood rates or less and ends when growth in height stops. On average it start around age 15, but can start as early as 12 or as late as 18. It typically lasts about two years.

Characteristics and Changes During Stage 4:


Growth begins to slow, though an additional inch to three inches will be gained. It is the slowing down of the growth rate that is the primary marker for the start of stage 4.


Scrotum distinctly hangs and takes on a darker color. Testes are between 1 1/2 to 1 3/4 inches (4.1 to 4.5 cm) long measured along the long axis or 12 to 20 ml in volume.

Penis continues to grow, but mostly in width. Glans at the end of the penis widens and develops a distinct corona. If ejaculation of semen hasn't happened earlier, it will begin in this stage.


Pubic hair is pigmented and curly, spreading across the groin. A strip of hair forms from the groin up to the navel. Hair under the arms becomes denser.

Facial hair develops on upper lip, chin, and near ears. Continues to spread across the face as this stage continues.


Voice continues to crack at times and deepens.


Acne breaks out on face and body.

If breasts stands out, they begin to disappear. Nipples stick out and become both harder and more sensitive to touch.

Muscles begin to develop.

Shoulders begin to widen to give a typical male physique. The trunk region grows, but it is at a slower rate than the growth of the legs in stage 3.


Still tends toward extremes in mood, though this settles down a bit.