Tanner Staging for Boys and Girls

I’m 12 years old and I’m very concerned about my penis size. Its very small. Am I just a late bloomer. I don’t even know if I have reached puberty. How do I know?Darrel

tanner-staging1

Dr. Greene:

Puberty can be very confusing. For boys and girls, bodies develop in response to an ocean of surging hormones. There is a wide range of normal ages for puberty, which can make it even more confusing — especially when you’re the one going through the process. Doctors have a way of charting where, in the process of moving from child to adult, each individual is by assessing several factors. This is called Tanner Staging (named after James Tanner, the doctor who invented the scale) or Sexual Maturity Rating in Adolescents.

Darrel, take a look at these charts to see where you are in the process.

Tanner Staging for Boys

From: ANNEX H, SEXUAL MATURITY RATING (TANNER STAGING) IN ADOLESCENTS

Stage

Age range (years)

Testes growth

 

Penis growth

Pubic hair growth

Other changes

I

0–15 Pre-adolescent testes
(≤2.5 cm)
Pre-adolescent None Pre-adolescent

II

10–15 Enlargement of testes; pigmentation of scrotal sac Minimal or no enlargement Long downy hair, often appearing several months after testicular growth; variable pattern noted with pubarche Not applicable

III

11.5–16.5 Further enlargement Significant enlargement, especially in diameter Increase in amount; curling Not applicable

IV

Variable: 12–17 Further enlargement Further enlargement, especially in diameter Adult in type but not in distribution Development of axillary hair and some facial hair

V

13–18 Adult in size Adult in size Adult in distribution (medial aspects of thighs; linea alba) Body hair continues to grow and muscles continue to increase in size for several months to years; 20% of boys reach peak growth velocity during this period

Tanner Staging for Girls

Stage

Age range (years)

Breast growth

Pubic hair growth

Other Changes

I

>0–15 Pre-adolescent None Pre-adolescent

II

8–15 Breast budding (thelarche); areolar hyperplasia with small amount of breast tissue Long downy pubic hair near the labia, often appearing with breast budding or several weeks or months later Peak growth velocity often occurs soon after stage II

III

10–15 Further enlargement of breast tissue and areola, with no separation of their contours Increase in amount and pigmentation of hair Menarche occurs in 2% of girls late in stage III

IV

10–17 Separation of contours; areola and nipple form secondary mound above breasts tissue Adult in type but not in distribution Menarche occurs in most girls in stage IV, 1–3 years after thelarche

V

12.5–18 Large breast with single contour Adult in distribution Menarche occurs in 10% of girls in stage V.

 

 

Dr. Alan Greene

Dr. Greene is the founder of DrGreene.com (cited by the AMA as “the pioneer physician Web site”), a practicing pediatrician, father of four, & author of Raising Baby Green & Feeding Baby Green. He appears frequently in the media including such venues as the The New York Times, the TODAY Show, Good Morning America, & the Dr. Oz Show.

  1. William

    I am 15, I don’t know if my penis is growing or not it hasn’t changed size since the beginning of my 10th grade year…. Is there something wrong with my penis

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  2. Cam

    Compared to all my friends I am a late bloomer. In middle school (7-8th grade) all the boys I knew were going through puberty. Some began in 6th and some began in 7th. They would always brag about their penis sizes or whatever and I would feel uncomfortable. Towards the end of 8th grade my voice began getting deeper and I could tell I began puberty because I began getting pubic hairs. Now I’m a 15 year old in the 10th grade. I just want to know when my penis will stop growing. It is currently [redacted]. If you can, can you estimate how much bigger it’ll get?

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    • Cam,

      You will stop growing when you end puberty. If you started late, you will likely end late.

      Here are the steps you can use to determine where you are in the process:

      1. The average stretched length of the penis before puberty is somewhere between 2.1 and 2.9 inches.
      2. The average stretched length of the adult penis, after puberty is complete, is between 4.6 and 5.8 inches (though a more recent study of 6200 boys, mostly white, from Bulgaria, put the average at 3.1 to 4.3 inches).
      3. During puberty it is normal for the stretched length to range between 3 and 4.5 inches.
      4. It can be normal in our culture to begin puberty as early as 10 years old or as late as 14.9 years old.
      5. Puberty is NOT set by your age, but by your Tanner Stage (the system doctors use to evaluate development during puberty).
      6. If you are not in the normal range for your stage of development, or if your development is before age 10 or after age 14.9, it’s wise to discuss this with your pediatrician.
      7. During puberty it is recommended that you have a physical exam once a year. Unless you particularly concerned or are far outside the guidelines above, you can bring this up at your annual exam.

      @MsGreene
      Co-founder & Executive Producer DrGreene.com, Mom

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  3. Jj

    Im almost 12 I think I’m going to puberty I’m growing a little beard 1 aleady my penis isn’t growing is it bad or I still didn’t hit puberty?

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  4. Pete

    Hello, I’m 17 years old and my penis is around [redacted]. Will I still grow?

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    • Pete,

      That’s a pretty big range. You might consider re-measuring using these guidelines:

      “In determining size, the “stretched penile length” is far more important than the “relaxed length.” To evaluate penis size, stretch the penis gently and measure from the bone at the base all the way to the tip. Be sure to depress the surrounding fat pad to get all the way to the base.”

      Dr. Greene has more information at this URL –> Penis Size.

      Best,
      @MsGreene
      Co-founder & Executive Producer DrGreene.com, Mom

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  5. Aaron

    Hi i am 15 my penis is [redacted]. I was wondering if I am normal. I have a bit of hait under my arms and an average amount of pubes…please can you help me. Thanks in advance

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    • Aaron,

      Here are the guidelines that you can use to track your development now and as you progress through puberty:

      1. The average stretched length of the penis before puberty is somewhere between 2.1 and 2.9 inches.
      2. The average stretched length of the adult penis, after puberty is complete, is between 4.6 and 5.8 inches (though a more recent study of 6200 boys, mostly white, from Bulgaria, put the average at 3.1 to 4.3 inches).
      3. During puberty it is normal for the stretched length to range between 3 and 4.5 inches.
      4. It can be normal in our culture to begin puberty as early as 10 years old or as late as 14.9 years old.
      5. Puberty is NOT set by your age, but by your Tanner Stage (the system doctors use to evaluate development during puberty).
      6. If you are not in the normal range for your stage of development, or if your development is before age 10 or after age 14.9, it’s wise to discuss this with your pediatrician.
      7. During puberty it is recommended that you have a physical exam once a year. Unless you particularly concerned or are far outside the guidelines above, you can bring this up at your annual exam.

      I hope that’s helpful.

      @MsGreene
      Co-founder & Executive Producer DrGreene.com, Mom

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  6. joe

    hi i’m 15 and i am quite small for my age. I am sure that I have not hit puberty yet and my penis size hasn’t grown as I have got older. I believe that I am at tanner stage 1 or 2. Is this normal and just a late bloomer or is it something I need to discuss with my doctor.

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    • Joe,

      You are on the cusp of average age for your development. If you are still Stage 1 you are a little late. If you are Stage 2, you can be in the normal range.

      At 15, it’s fine to discuss with your pediatrician, but not urgent.

      Best,
      @MsGreene
      Co-founder & Executive Producer DrGreene.com, Mom
      Note: Not Dr. Greene, not a doctor. Keep that in mind when reading my comments and replies.

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  7. Annonamous

    I am 14 with [redacted] and I think it’s small is that normal. I’m I average or over average?

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  8. Thomas B

    Hello I was just wondering if my penis size is normal for my age and tanner stage group. I am twelve years old and I believe I am in the second stage and my penis erect is probably around a bit over [redacted] in length. Thank you in advance.

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    • Thomas B,

      You are asking the exact right question — “for my Tanner Stage, is this normal?”

      Before puberty starts, the average stretched length (not erect) of the penis is somewhere between 2.1 and 2.9 inches. The average stretched length of the adult penis (after puberty is complete) is between 4.6 and 5.8 inches. In Tanner Stage 2, there is only minimal penis enlargement. It can take 3 to 5 years to go through puberty.

      You did give an erect measurement, not a stretched length, so I can say for sure, but it appears that you are right on track for normal.

      Best,
      @MsGreene

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  9. Devansh

    Hi sir im 12YEAR old and my penis is [redacted by moderator] is this correct size for my age

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  10. Dee

    My penis is small n skinny im 13 years old n i still dont have armpit hair but I have hair on my penis so when is my penis going to grow n when will i hit purbety n also when am im going 2 grow hair under my arms

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    • Hi Dee,

      Typically development follows a set pattern (as outlined above). Once you’ve really started puberty, it will all happen within a few years.

      It’s completely normal for puberty to start as late as 14, so you’re still on track.

      Best,
      @MsGreene
      Co-founder & Executive Producer DrGreene.com, Mom

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  11. Zak

    I’m 15 years old and I hit puberty about a year ago. I have some armpit hair and pubes my voice changed about 9 moths again but my penis is still really skinny and small. When I’m erect it gets [redacted by moderator] but it’s still skinny. Is it gonna grow any bigger?

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    • Zak,

      If you started puberty a year ago, which is within the range of normal timing, it’s very possible that you still have several stages to go through before completing your development.

      Best,
      @MsGreene

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