Last updated on September 21, 2020
Today, I went swimming at school. We were changing, and I noticed that my friend had a huge amount of pubic hair, like what some people refer to as “a bush.” This wouldn’t have even surprised me if it looked like he was in stage 4 or something, but I didn’t even really know he was even going through puberty! He has no visible armpit hair, not really any deepness in his voice, and no facial hair. It seems like he should be in stage 2 or 3. Is my pubic hair supposed to be that full?
On the Tanner Calculator, where you can check off the things like “My penis has gotten longer in the last year or two”, those rows of pictures next to each checkbox, is that supposed to show what different amounts of pubic hair you can have at that point? Once again, thanks, I do very much appreciate you taking time out of your day to answer.
Different people have different thicknesses of hair. You can see this by looking at the variations of hair on people’s heads and it is no different when it comes to pubic hair. Some thickness comes from how many terminal hairs a person has in a region, but it also comes from the length of hairs and how curly they are. Curly hair looks thicker than straight hair. Color has a bit to do with it as well. Dark hair against light skin is more noticeable than light hair.
Another point to be noted is that there are separate systems of development. Hair growth and genital growth are two separate systems. One boy can be advanced in hair growth, but not as far along in other systems. That is why the calculator asks about a number of systems and then gives a weighted average for the estimate.
The images in that section come from several articles on the Tanner stages. If you ignore the pubic hair, you will notice that the genitals in each row look to be about the same. There are variations due to circumcised or uncircumcised, there are differences in size, but each is at the same stage of development. Understanding that, then yes, boys at the same stage can have different amounts of pubic hair.