Puberty, in boys, usually comes between the ages of 9 to 14. During this time, a child experiences physical and emotional changes. In this process, the child transforms into an adult, becomes mature and ready for reproduction. These changes manifest themselves differently in both sexes. Changes in boys during puberty will be discussed in this article.
Here's how to understand the changes that boys undergo during puberty:
- Enlargement of the testes. This is the initial physical sign that marks boys’ entry into puberty. Before the start of puberty, the testes change slightly in size, and this growth continues gradually through the years until puberty, during which the testes reach their maximum size. After this period the testes don’t grow anymore, as they have already fully developed. The testes work in two ways, namely: they generate hormones and they manufacture sperm. Among the hormones, testosterone is produced, which is responsible for the maintenance of libido in males. Most boys become fertile at the age of 13, however, they can only completely attain fertility when they turn 14 to 16 years old. It is also during this time when boys start to experience erection of their penises and occasional bursts of semen.
- Growth of hair. Boys start growing pubic hair at the base of the penis as soon as their genitalia develop, usually in stage 2. After the lapse of six months to one year, the hairs become thicker, and by the time this development reaches stage 4, the pubic hairs completely cover the pubic triangle. In stage 5, the growth of pubic hair extends up to the thighs and to the lower portion of the stomach and sometimes even reaching up to the navel. Meanwhile, abdominal, chest and facial hair start appearing simultaneously with the pubic hair. Other body parts where hair thickens are the underarms, upper lip, sides of the face, and chin. On the other hand, hair may also increase in the arms and legs though thinner than that on the chest and underarms.
- Change in voice. Deepening of the voice is more evident in boys than in girls. This is caused by androgens, which cause the larynx to expand. This development generally takes place in stage 3 or 4 of adolescence in boys.
- Thickening of muscles and bones. Shoulders and chest start to develop, becoming muscular and broad. The bones of the jaw become more prominent, and the Adam’s apple is already visible as puberty reaches its end.
- Appearance of acne and change in body odor. At puberty, androgen levels increase, and the end result is more oily skin and a change in body odor. Oily skin commonly causes acne, for which reason many boys in adolescence start growing acne on their face, resulting in a rougher skin texture. Boys start smelling like adults, prompting them to use deodorants and other body refreshing products.
Puberty is generally an awkward phase in a boy’s life. Sometimes it causes embarrassment during awkward moments. For instance, erection can happen anytime, especially when sexual images play in the mind. Wet dreams may also occur while sleeping. This is the reason why boys should be enlightened and educated about the normal changes in their bodies during puberty. If they understand what is happening to them during this phase, they will avoid undue embarrassment and will learn how to deal with these changes until they reach full maturity.