It’s a question that nearly every man will ask at some point in his life: what it the average penis size, and how do I measure up? For guys going through puberty, this question can seem especially important. No-one wants to be the subject of ridicule in the locker room, and all the stuff seen on the internet and on social media can easily cause insecurity about your body.
Knowing where they fit on the scale can help provide teens with a sense of perspective and relief. So then, what is the normal penis size for a teen?
There’s No Such Thing as Normal
The first thing that you should keep in mind is that every teen boy’s body is different. While there are one or two aspects of puberty that tend to be predictable, the timeline will depend on the person. Some guys will go through most of the major changes of puberty all at the same time. For others, they can occur in fits and starts over the course of about seven years.
Not only that, but there’s a pretty big variation in what penises can look like. Whether it’s flaccid (soft) or erect (hard) is one of the most obvious differences, but it’s hardly the only one. Some guys stay around the same size whether their penis is soft or hard (some call this being a “shower”), while erection causes a big change in size in others (these men are “growers”).
Another example is that circumcised penises can look smaller while flaccid due to the lack of a foreskin. But when the penis is erect, the foreskin retracts, and so being circumcised or not doesn’t actually make a functional difference to the size.
Stages of Puberty
A 2010 study of 427 boys in the United States showed that the stages of sexual maturity in boys are somewhat predictable, and follow the same general progression:
- Puberty begins: 9.5 to 14 years
- First change: growth of the testicles
- Penis growth: begins about one year after the testicles start to grow
- Pubic hair starts to grow: 13.5 years
- Wet Dreams: 14 years
- Voice changes, facial hair growth, and acne: 15 years
The important takeaway here is that the exact time when a boy’s penis starts to grow during puberty can vary quite widely. There’s no average age for it to start to happen, though most guys will have done the majority of their growing downstairs by the time they are 16 years old. After the age of 18 to 19, you’re probably as big as you’re going to get, unless your puberty started later.
Average Sizes by Age
According to the most used clinical reference book for adolescent medicine, the approximate average sizes for boy’s penises by age are:
- Age 10 to 11: 1.6 to 3.1 inches
- Age 12: 2.0 to 4.0 inches
- Age 13: 2.0 to 4.7 inches
- Age 14: 2.4 to 5.5 inches
- Age 15: 3.1 to 5.9 inches
- Age 16: 3.9 to 5.9 inches
- Age 17: 3.9 to 6.3 inches
- Age 18: 4.3 to 6.7 inches
However, these measurements were taken on flaccid penises, which studies have shown are more difficult to measure accurately.
In order to find your own measurement, use the following method:
- Find a ruler or tape measure (be careful with the latter!)
- Place the end of your ruler or measure on the top of your penis (as in the opposite side to your balls), where it connects to your pubic bone. This is the base of your penis.
- Push the ruler or measure in so that it is as close to the pubic bone as possible, compressing any skin and fat.
- Measure from the base to the tip of your glans (the rounded end to your penis).
Keep in mind that if you are uncircumcised, your foreskin doesn’t actually play any part in the length of your penis, so it should not be included in your measurement.
Another aspect to remember is that flaccid penis size is not necessarily an accurate indicator of how big it will be when erect. There is a much closer correlation between the size of your penis when it is erect and the size when it is flaccid and stretched out – that is, when it is pulled lengthwise to elongate the muscles and skin. However, this can cause you pain or damage if you’re not careful.
If you are looking for the size of your penis in order to purchase condoms, measure the length and girth of your penis when it is erect. Remember that purchasing the right condom size is extremely important for your health and safety.
Things to Keep in Mind
Just as every penis looks different from one another, the size of each guys penis can vary quite a lot for a number of different reasons. Being cold is a well-known one, and the penis can also be smaller after you’ve been swimming. And again, the size of a soft penis doesn’t necessarily bear much reflection on how big it is when it gets hard, so if you’re on the receiving end of locker-room teasing, try to keep the science in mind.
The way that averages work means that it’s very likely that your penis is of average size. An inch or two either side is a normal variation. Interestingly, a study has shown that men with average-sized penises were the most likely to be excessively worried about how big they were. So, if you’re really stressed out about it, you’re actually even more likely to be of a normal size.
What is the normal penis size for a teen? Well, first of all, normal is a relative concept. The size of your penis changes depending on what stage you are at in your development. As long as it fits within the chart above, you’re doing fine. If you find that your penis is considerably smaller than the average, and you think you are done growing, you can consult a doctor about your future options.