The Growth and Development of the Penis

light-red-white-homeThe beginning of biological growth and development during adolescence is signified by the onset of puberty, which is often defined as the physical transformation of a child into an adult. A number of biological changes occur during puberty including sexual maturation, increases in height and weight, completion of skeletal growth accompanied by a marked increase in bone mass, and changes in body composition. Likewise, the enlargement of male genitals including scrotum and penis is of particular importance.

Penis size, in particular, can be a worry for men. In the last few decades, men have become increasingly dissatisfied with their bodies, including penis size. For many men, penis size is equated with masculinity.

In order for a man to be dissatisfied with the size of his penis, he must somehow feel that his does not measure up to other men. To evaluate his own penis, a man has to see many others. Besides in the locker room, heterosexual men generally have little opportunity to see the real life penises of many other men, especially erect penises. They can, however, see penises in adult magazines or movies, which are not representative of the average penis. As with all body parts, penises come in a variety of sizes and shapes, including curvature. Therefore, in order to have a correct idea about the normal or average penis length, girth and size, it is essential to know and learn about the various stages of penile growth and development.

Because the onset and progression of puberty are so variable, most biologists and sexologists have agreed on a general scale to describe the onset and progression of pubertal changes. Boys are rated for genital development (including penile growth) and pubic hair growth.

According to this scale, the most commonly accepted stages for male genitalia development are as follows:

  • Stage I (Preadolescent, before 11 years of age): The testes, scrotal sac, and penis have a size and proportion similar to those seen in early childhood.

  • Stage II (11 to 13 years of age): There is enlargement of the scrotum and testes and a change in the texture of the scrotal skin. Thinning and reddening of the scrotum occurs around 12 years old. Also during this time, the body takes on a more muscular and angular shape because of testosterone. This generally begins around age 12.5 when testosterone causes muscle mass to increase.

  • Stage III (Puberty / 13 to 16 years of age): Increased growth of the penis and scrotum often starts at about age 13 and continues until adult size is reached about two years later. There is a fair degree of age variation with genital development from one boy to the next. In general, the penis is significantly enlarged in length and circumference, with further development of the glans penis. The testes and scrotum continue to enlarge, and there is distinct darkening of the scrotal skin.

    Males have spontaneous penis erections throughout their lives (even throughout infancy), but during puberty, boys tend to get erections more frequently. Erections can occur with or without any physical or sexual stimulation, and often lead to nocturnal emissions (" wet dreams ").

  • Stage IV (Adulthood): The genitalia (both penis and scrotum) are adult with regard to size and shape.

What effects the growth of the penis?

The most important factor that regulates and enhances the male penis size is male sex hormone called Testosterone which causes the growth of facial and body hair, muscular development and an increase in penis size. It should be, however, noted that Testosterone will increase the size of the penis and will stimulate the production of body hair but will have no effect on the size of the testes.

Normal penile size

There is a fairly wide range of normal penis sizes, just as there is for every other body part. And just like other parts of the body, how a penis appears at different stages of a male’s life varies quite a bit. You wouldn't expect someone who is 11 years old to look the same as someone who's 19.

According to a survey, the average penile length and girth in the flaccid state range from 8.2 to 9.7 cm, and 1.6 to 2.7 cm, respectively. Similarly, the average length has been estimated around 14 to 16.5 cm when erected. However, again, the penis size varies from person to person and it is also determined by the age, height, weight (being obese or too thin may affect).

The good news, however, is that with the recent advancements in medical and sexual sciences, a wide variety of options are now available to enhance and maintain male sexual health. It is, therefore, now possible to effectively treat and manage disorders like impotency, erectile dysfunction and other male sexual disorders.


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