Why did stage 3 start soon after I noticed I was in stage 2?

Last updated on September 19, 2020


What I don’t understand is how my first signs of puberty i.e. first appearance of pubic hair preceded the onset of my rapid growth (which seemingly started about a year ago) by only three months. Does this mean Stage 2 only lasted this long? If so, that is far from the average length of 2 years.

Another thing confusing me is that despite my noticeable growth, I still have a very boyish look about me, very much like a 12 or even 11 year old boy. It actually makes me look even shorter than I am. All the changes seem to be “on the inside” i.e. pubic hair growth, and on the outside I look totally pre-pubertal (except for my increase in height). Does this indicate that I may have considerable growth left despite it seeming like I’m half finished my growth spurt? I really don’t understand.

Also out of curiosity how tall are boys normally at the start of Stage 3 (just before the growth spurt). I know it would vary considerably but what do you think the average is?



Let’s start first with the definitions of each stage:

  • Stage 1 is childhood
  • Stage 2 is when you start changing. Technically it starts at puberty when your hormones rise to start your changes, but there are no outward signs of that it started until about a year later. The first change is the increased size of your scrotum but few boys notice that. Next is usually spontaneous erections. The third typical sign is the growth of pubic hair near the base of your penis. Thus by the time you noticed the hairs, you were a good long way through Stage 2.
  • Stage 3 is the rapid growth phase. This is when your growth rate per year increases above two inches per year. It can reach as high as four or even eight inches in a year.
  • Stage 4 is when the growth rate decreases below two inches a year again. In continues to slow down during this stage. This is the stage when your looks change the most. You look less like a child and more like a man.
  • Stage 5 is when your growth in height stops. There are still changes that take place, such as hair growth and mental development, but you no longer are getting taller.

Therefore, a stage doesn’t start when you first notice that you are in a new stage. You likely were there for a while.

Your boyish looks will change during stage 4. You already have a large number of changes that can be seen externally, but most of those are kept covered by clothing. Still, it doesn’t mean they are not there.

The average age to start Stage 3 is 13.5 and according to the CDC, the average 13.5 year old boy is 5’3″ tall.