I’m 14, but I look like a 16 or 17-year-old. Is that normal?

Last updated on August 25, 2020


I’m 14 years and 9 months old so I’m almost 15 years old, but I have the body of a 16 years old boy. Like I’m already 5’7″ and weigh 117 pounds, and my body has the adult shape. I have some facial hair, I have facial hair in my upper lip since I was 12, but I shave it; it’s already thick. I have facial hair in my chin and lower lip since I was 13; I shave there too. I have a kind of peach fuzz in my cheeks because I don’t shave there.
I have full and dark hair in my legs since I turned 13, there’s smaller hair in my thighs too. I have full dark and curly pubic hair and I have a not full treasure trail, you have to look very close to see it. I have the same amount of armpit hair that an adult could have. I think that my penis is full developed too since it is 3.8 inches long when not erect and 5.3 inches when erect.

I can ejaculate since I was 12 and I don’t know if my voice is developed since it is not that deep, but I can feel a little Adam’s apple there. My voice is more hoarse and not deep. My doctor told me that I started puberty when I was 10 years and 11 months old and that I would finish it at 14 years and 11 months old since puberty lasts 4 years.

I’m very worried because I’m already that developed and I see lots of guys here saying that they have not entered puberty yet, and other people saying that all boys develop and grow until they are 18 or 21. Then I think I’m unusual.

How tall will I be? Can I stop developing as a 15-year-old? I did the Tanner stage test in your amazing site and I got 4.7 Tanner stage.


When getting information, it is always wise to consider the source. Most people assume everyone else is just like them. But each person is an individual and there is a wide range of what is considered “normal.” If you ask people your own age, you will get different answers based on what is happening to them and on what they have heard others say. Yet, that isn’t necessarily what happens to everyone.

When I wrote my book on growing up, I spent about two years researching everything I could read on growth and development, including research papers. I’ve continued to read on the subject for the past twenty years or so. I know it is fairly accurate because I get compliments from doctors and educators in the field every once in a while. None of this is to brag. I’m just letting you know my background so you can weigh its worth.

There are two terms we need to define. “Average” is the middle of all possibilities. If you had a bunch of teenagers in a room, the average age might be 15 even though the ages ranged from 13 to 19. “Normal” is the range in which most people fit. Usually “normal” is set to the 95 percentile; that is, the range which would cover 95% of all the people being looked at. You have to look carefully when someone claims something is normal to find out what range they are using. Sometimes it is as low as 80% or as high as 98%.

In male development, the average boy starts puberty at the age of 12, though this has been dropping lately. At least that is when the first signs of puberty can be seen externally. Technically puberty is when the male hormones begin rising in the body, which is about a year before external signs are seen. Then, too, the earliest external signs are usually missed on boys so most boys don’t realize they are developing until two or more years after their hormones have started to rise.

The normal range for starting puberty (counting at the first external signs of change) is between 9 and 16. If a boy begins to develop before or after this range, a doctor should take a look because abnormal development can be a sign of serious medical problems. Since you started at nearly 11, you are well within the normal range. I suspect you actually started a bit earlier given your current maturity.

The typical boy takes about six to eight years to reach physical maturity; that is to the point that he has reached his full adult size. However, other changes internally, such as brain development continues for several more years. So no, not all boys are still growing past 18. Some are, but that is because some had a later start.

Assuming your answers were accurate, a 4.7 means you are almost done growing in height. You might put on another half-inch to an inch. Most of your current growth will be in broadening shoulders and putting on muscle. If you really wanted to know, a doctor can take an x-ray and tell you if your growth plates are still open or nearly closed. Someone knowledgeable about growth and development, like your doctor, can also give you a more accurate assessment just by looking at you.

Reaching the end of development at 15 is not abnormal, but is definitely before most boys.