As males transition from childhood to adolescence (a period known as puberty), they experience various physiological changes. Examples may include a deepened tone of voice and the growth of new body hair. During puberty, males start to mature sexually, with part of the process involving a rapid increase in the size of their penis.
The amount a penis grows during puberty can differ from person to person, as does the onset of puberty itself. As with the start of penile growth, there’s also a period when a person’s penis growth stops. This generally occurs as men have reached sexual maturity, with an age range that may vary between individuals.
The amount a penis grows during puberty can differ from person to person, as does the onset of puberty itself.
In modern society, male penis growth and size in general is somewhat of a taboo. Societal standards may mean men with large penises are celebrated, while those with smaller penises may hold a negative view of their penis size. This article explores when the penis starts and stops growing, as well as providing a general overview of male penis size.
When does your penis stop growing?
It’s not possible to provide a specific age for when a person’s penis stops growing. This is because the penis generally stops growing when a person has finished puberty and reached sexual maturity. This is a milestone that can vary from one person to the next.
What is the average penis size
Research examined seventy-five studies that were published between 1942 and 2021 (using data from 55,761 men). It made the following observations for average (mean) penis lengths:
- Average flaccid length: 3.43 inches (8.70cm)
- Average stretched length: 5.09 inches (12.93cm)
- Average erect length: 5.48 inches (13.93cm)
It’s worth noting that the measurements above showed variations based on geographic location. An interesting observation from the review was that erect penile length seemed to increase by 24% over the past 29 years.
Timeline of penis growth
To provide an overview of male penile growth, we’ve created a timeline that details the key stages of penile development among males. It’s important to note that the timeframes within this section are generic.
However, the stages of human development, including penile growth and the onset of puberty may differ from person to person. With that considered, here’s a general timeline of penile growth in males.
|Infancy and Childhood: Age 0-8
During infancy and childhood, the penis may be small compared to its full growth potential later in life. This may lead people to associate penile growth with adolescence.
However, the size of the penis during the early stages of life does hold some relevance.
|Puberty: Age 9-16 (may vary)
The average age range for the onset of puberty among males is between 9 and 14 years old.
During this time, the body begins to physically and sexually mature, with males becoming capable of reproducing.
It’s during puberty that a male’s penis experiences the most growth. One research study (consisting of 6200 healthy white males) found that participants experienced the most rapid growth between the ages of 12 and 16 years old.
|Adulthood: Age 19 onwards
As males move from adolescence into adulthood, the growth of their penis settles and the penis reaches its fully grown size.
Men may reach this stage at different times, but generally this occurs after they have stopped sexually maturing and have grown into a man.
Despite experiencing slow growth during childhood and rapid growth during puberty, this is the first time in a male adult’s life in which their penis growth stops entirely and their penis size becomes a constant.
What factors affect penis growth?
Various factors may influence a person’s penile growth. This section explores how hormones, genetics, nutrition and even environmental factors may impact a person’s penis size.
Hormones & Genetics
Hormones is a term that’s widely used, especially when the human body changes. For example, when someone develops acne or mood swings, rightly or wrongly such changes are often attributed to “hormones”. Research acknowledges that a range of human physiologic processes, including development and reproduction are only made possible due to hormones and processes from their actions.
Testosterone is known as the primary sex hormone and androgen among males, and plays a key role in male sexual development.
Some research suggests that testosterone may influence penile growth, possibly due to extracellular stromal expansion. Other research notes that Micropenises may be a sign of a hormonal deficiency or genetic association.
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), nutrition is considered a “critical part of health and development”. Part of nutrition involves calorie consumption however, an excessive caloric intake may cause problems. The WHO identifies the fundamental cause of obesity as an energy imbalance between calories consumed and calories burned.
Obesity is linked to a range of undesirable health conditions such as heart disease and strokes.
There may be a lesser-known link between obesity and penile growth in childhood. A research study consisting of 1130 boys from birth to age 20 found that childhood obesity may be associated with lower testosterone and reduced penile growth.
Environmental factors refer to external factors or influences that a person may experience during their lifetime, even in the womb. Some examples of environmental factors can include chemicals, radiation, or second-hand smoke. There are some reports that certain environmental factors may affect penile growth.
Reports claim that exposure to endocrine-disrupting chemicals (EDCs) may contribute to genital malformation.
There was a high prevalence of micropenises among 2710 male newborns in a part of Brazil where pesticides were heavily used, with 56 cases of genital malformation observed. Over 92% of newborns presented fetal EDC contamination, with mothers reporting the use of pesticides daily.
Can you increase your penis size?
The quick answer is no, there’s very little a person can do to increase the size of their penis. Before we explore this further, it’s important to understand why an individual would want to increase the size of their penis. The ability to increase one's penis size is often highly sought after by men who feel insecure about the size of their penis.
Society's unrealistic standards have led to a “bigger means better” culture surrounding male penis size.
Unfortunately, the market for profiting from this type of male insecurity is huge. If you’re a man concerned with increasing your penis size, you’re likely to be familiar with the mass-marketed products that promise to increase your penis size.
Products range from pills and creams that claim to increase penis size to penile exercise products or even surgical procedures that promise the same. Unfortunately for consumers, they often don’t deliver on their promises. Furthermore, research says that most men who seek penile lengthening overestimate what a “normal” penis size is.
Why do some men want bigger penises?
While we can’t speak for everyone, feeling dissatisfied with one’s penis size may be due to sociocultural influences. A point identified by a research study into men who had undergone penis augmentation (enlargement). The study interviewed these men and identified three general themes:
Pornography: the men noted that the large penises of male adult performers had confused their perception of what a normal-sized penis was.
Comparison: comparing their penises with peers, for example in locker room environments, had made them feel their penis was small.
Teasing: despite not having received direct insults regarding their penis size, they were aware that small penises lead to insults through exposure to mainstream media.
Penis size myths
When it comes to information on penis size, it can be difficult to know what to believe. This section of the article looks to debunk some of the common penis size myths and explores the reality behind them.
Flaccid penis size is correlated with erected penis size
There’s a common misconception that the size of a flaccid penis is a predictor of the size of the penis when it’s erect. However, this is completely untrue. Everyone’s penis presents differently and can exhibit vast size differences between flaccid and erect states. claims that while flaccid penis size isn’t a predictor for erectile length, stretched penis length most closely correlates to erection length.
Penis size is a reflection of masculinity
Another myth is that a person’s penis size is a reflection of their masculinity. However, there is little to no research in existence that can prove a connection between penis size and masculinity. The age-old saying “don’t judge a book by its cover” rings true for using a person's appearance or demeanor for predicting their penis size.
Women prefer men with bigger penises
Perhaps as a result of social constructs such as the adult film industry, many men believe that women prefer men who have larger penises. This is another myth. A blanket statement like this ignores the fact that people have a variety of sexual preferences. While some may prefer larger penises, others may prefer average or small penises.
Longer penis equals more satisfaction
Another myth is that longer penises are associated with added satisfaction. Sexual climax can be reached without the penis's involvement at all, for example during foreplay using fingers or a tongue. Penises come in a variety of shapes and sizes, and the phrase “it’s not about the size, it’s what you do with it that counts” exists for a reason.
Although penis size in infancy may have some practical applications (i.e. micropenis diagnosis) growth during this stage of life is slow. Males experience the most rapid penile growth during puberty, as the body begins to sexually mature and becomes capable of reproduction. After this period, penis growth settles and the penis takes its fully grown form.
Societal standards may contribute to insecurities among men surrounding their penis size.
There are many myths surrounding penis size that may cause damage to men who believe them. This can lead to men taking extreme measures such as spending money on penile enlargement products, such as pills, creams, or even surgeries that often don’t work.
Although this article is intended to be informative, it cannot be considered a substitute for medical advice. If you have any concerns surrounding your penis size you should always consult a medical professional for guidance.
Concerned about the Size of your Penis?
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