I want to join a swimming club, but I’m afraid of getting teased

Last updated on August 25, 2020



I am 14 and going to turn 15 soon. My voice has been pretty deep for quite a while, although I don’t see any adam’s apple. According to the Tanner chart, my voice isn’t supposed to change until stage 4, which means I should already have armpit, chest, and facial hair. However, I don’t have any of those. I do have pubic hair, which has been getting longer and darker (There is a good amount of hair that is long, dark, and sticking out but not curly or bushy). My penis is about 3.5 inches when erect, and has not been growing at all (I remember a long time ago, I measured my penis and it was the same size). I have been getting taller and heavier. My question is, what stage am I in, and when will my penis grow? Also how long will it take me to grow my penis to full size and my armpit hair to appear? I want to go to this swimming club, but I am embarrassed and I’m afraid that I’d have to shower with other boys there and get embarrassed.


One of the things about development is that there are multiple things which change which are only loosely linked to other things which also are changing. In any one individual, milestones in those changes may happen in a slightly different order.

For example, facial hair goes in a particular order: mustache, chin, sideburns, then filling in between. It typically starts in stage 3 when peach fuzz in noticed on the upper lip and continues through and past stage 5 when a full beard can be grown. But for some boys, the chain of changes might start a little later or a little earlier.

I knew one boy who first notice he was changing because hair started growing on the back of his shoulders. For most men that is one the latter changes, but that one change was different for him.

That is why when I wrote the Tanner Stage Calculator I used a number of change-series to come up with an estimate. Certain items carry heavier weight because they are more easily measured or because they are more significant to a particular stage of development. You didn’t indicate that you used the calculator, but from your description of yourself, it sounds like you are in stage 3. But the only way to know for sure is to have a doctor or someone else skilled in making development assessments to take a look at you.

Your penis has grown because boys before puberty don’t have 3.5-inch erections. It will continue to grow through stage 4. Growth isn’t necessarily steady. It will come and go in spurts. Armpit usually doesn’t begin to show until stage 4 and chest hair usually doesn’t being to show until sometime during stage 5.

At your age, few boys want to be different. If everyone else had blond hair, a boy with dark hair would be embarrassed. What people should accept is that there are things about you which you can’t control. You are in the process of maturing. You aren’t done yet. There are other boys who are your same age who haven’t started and there are boys who are nearly done. But when the change takes place doesn’t make one boy better or worse than another. Boys who mature early do have some advantages as far as strength in sports, but their advantage fades as the rest of the group catches up with them.

If you want to join the swimming club do so because you enjoy swimming. You are going to see boys more and less mature than yourself. There will always be dumb people who will tease you for any reason they can think of. But, it doesn’t mean you should not do the things you like to do just because there are dumb people out there in the world.