ADOLESCENT PHYSICAL DEVELOPMENT
Adolescence brings forth many transitions for teenagers and their families. To help teenagers navigate through those transitions successfully, it is important that they understand the changes that are occurring throughout their body. Teenagers experience some dramatic physical milestones as they move from childhood to adolescence, so they need some guidance and understanding.
Female Sexual Characteristics
- Girls usually begin to develop breasts as young as 8 or 9 years of age; they normally have finished developing between 12 and 18 years of age. Girls also start their menstrual cycles around 12 or 13 years of age, though they may begin anywhere from 10 to 15 years of age.
Male Sexual Characteristics
- Boys will often notice an increase in their scrota and penis as young as 9 or 10 years of age; their adult genitalia is normally fully matured by 16 years of age.
- Both boys and girls will start to develop pubic hair during adolescence. Girls tend to develop their pubic, armpit and leg hair at around 10 years of age. Boys, on the other hand, do not start growing their pubic, leg or chest hair until their early teens.
Height and Weight
- In one year, boys can grow around 4 inches and girls can grow around 3½ inches. Boys tend to bulk up more in muscle, while girls tend to add some body fat.
- A boy’s voice typically changes in the middle of the teen years, right around 14 years of age. It often changes at the peak of his growth spurt.