First sign of puberty in males: important changes
Have you ever witnessed your little boy trying to wear your shoes or your clothes? Walking in the same style as you? If you have a 6 or 7 years old boy, you might have seen him trying to use your shaving kit! Obviously, he wants to look and be as cool as his dad!! Just like you used to be when you were a kid, right? This is something that every parent and every child experiences in their lives. And you do not even notice that the actual time of maturation for your kid comes pretty soon! Puberty starts knocking at the door. Get ready for the new excitement and challenges that you and your boy will be facing now. When we talk about the first sign of puberty in males, physical changes are the ones that come to mind instantly.
However, puberty and puberty meaning are not at all simple phenomena. In fact, there are many interconnected areas and functions that make the overall concept of puberty. There physical changes, hormonal modifications, emotional and psychological changes and many other things as well. Understanding them all is what every parent should do. This is the only way in which you can guide your growing boy through this developmental phase.
A Period of Rapid Growth!!!
Research has confirmed that infancy is the foremost stage of rapid growth in the overall developmental stages of every human being. However, puberty is also a stage of rapid and speedy growth for kids. That is why, the word growth spurt is commonly used alongside infancy and puberty throughout the world. Quick changes in the height or weight of children falls under the umbrella of growth spurting. And this is what exactly happens during puberty as well. Talking about first sign of puberty in males, we have to focus on all the physical changes that occur along the way.
The puberty age for males is 11 years old on an average. However, puberty can occur as early as 9 years old or as late as 14 years old too. All these age spans are normal and there is nothing to worry for the parents. There are many portals through which boys can learn about puberty. However, parents need to be extensively involved with their boys in discussing puberty and its associated changes. We have already discussed the puberty in girls in our previous article. When it comes to boys, there are different major areas that undergo changes during puberty, such as:
- Physical Changes
- Hormonal Changes
- Emotional Changes
Physical Signs of Puberty in Males
Body is the first thing that undergoes changes and modifications on the onset of puberty in both girls and boys. Within the physical changes, there is not just a single area that changes. In fact, different areas of the body start changing at the same time. Some of these changes are very personal and only the boys can experience them. However, being a parent, you should always be available for them whenever they need you in this growth phase. Physical changes during puberty for males can be understood in two different ways:
- Tanner Stages
- Different physiological structures and functions
Marshall and Tanner were two researchers who worked on the secondary sexual characteristics of children in puberty. Through their extensive research data and findings, they presented a rating scale to show 5 different puberty stages for boys and girls. Pubic hair growth and genital development are the two main areas on which these stages focus. These stages can be used to answer the commonly asked question of what are the first signs of puberty in a girl or a boy!
Tanner Stage I
- Preadolescent stage of puberty.
- Focus is on the physical appearance of the boys.
- Penis, testes and scrotal sac have the same appearance as that in childhood.
- Vellos hair appear.
Tanner Stage II
- Enlargement of testes and scrotum.
- Changes in the texture of the scrotal skin.
- Color of scrotum reddens.
- No changes in the size of penis.
- Few pubic hair become visible.
Tanner Stage III
- In addition to scrotum and testes, the penis also becomes larger is size.
- Dark, curly and coarse pubic hair appear.
Tanner Stage IV
- Both length and circumference of the penis continue to increase visibly.
- Color of scrotum darkens.
- Texture of pubic hair become quite close to those of an adult, but quantity is low.
Tanner Stage V
- Testes, penis and scrotum gains the size of an adult male body.
- pubic hair also become more adult-like and their volume and distribution is also increased.
Other Physiological Changes
First sign of puberty in males for the physiological domain includes certain specific regions of the body. Boys differ according to their growth rates with their peers. Specific physical changes during puberty male and female have been enlisted by the professionals of the field. Physical changes during puberty for males include areas such as:
- Body Shape
- Changes in Voice
- Sweating and Acne
- Involuntary Erections
- Wet Dreams
- Breast Growth
Growth spurts in weight are likely to occur in the early duration of puberty for males. Your boy may appear as all arms and legs only. However, this is a temporary phase. When the height spurt will occur later on, the overall body shape of your boy will become more defined.
Changes in Voice
Larynx is the voice box of the human body and this is true for both males and females. When puberty hits, this voice box also undergoes changes. Depending on the puberty stages for boys, the larynx grows in size. It becomes clearly visible at the front of the throat – thus giving the name Adam’s apple for boys.
These changes lead towards cracking of voice for boys. Every boy has to experience this disturbing aspect of puberty as a major first sign of puberty in males. Support from parents is highly needed while dealing with this temporary yet irritating phase of puberty.
Sweating and Acne
Skin care for boys also tend to change during puberty. Large sweat glands always develop in the body of the males in puberty. They lead to excessive sweating having quite a pungent odor. At the same time, the facial skin also starts experiencing problems, mainly the acne. Oil is released excessively on the face and this promoted acne. A good skin care routine is what boys need to follow to tackle these smelly and sweaty issues.
This is yet another stressful aspect of puberty for males. Erections can occur spontaneously at any time and at any place during puberty. There are no associated sexual thoughts and touching the penis issues with these erections. This is just how things tend to be in puberty. Boys have to go through all this. Therefore, it is good to let them know that things will be better soon and this phase will be over.
Nocturnal emissions also occur commonly as the first sign of puberty in males physiologically. These emissions are not evident of having sexual dreams at night. Instead, these are just part of growing up as a man. According to the puberty age for males, parents should clarify these aspects to their boys. This will help them to understand and accept the situation in a positive manner.
Now, this may sound like something off the charts and normality curves. However, there is nothing to be worried about. Breast growth or gynecomastia is just a result of hormonal changes in the body of the boys and nothing more. In this case, the breast tissues get swollen and may appear as a breast growth if your boy is having excessive weight gain issues. Otherwise, this condition is ambiguous in appearance for the vast majority of growing boys. Occurring from a few months to a couple of years, breast growth disappears completely at the end.
Hormonal Signs of Puberty in Males
Human nervous system is actively involved before, during and after puberty hits both males and females equally. Different hormones work differently for both genders, but there can be certain similarities as well. All the physical changes during puberty male and female experience are due to hormonal changes in essence.
The basic element of interest in puberty as shown by research is the hypothalamic-pituitary-gonadal axis, also known as HPG axis. Disinhibition of the HPG axis leads towards the secretion of Gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH). This, in turn, triggers the release of Luteinizing hormone (LH) and Follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH). These hormones act on the gonadal cells and both estrogens and androgens are released. This increased level of estrogens and androgens lead to the development of female and male genitalia in puberty. Contribution of adrenal glands is also quite evident in puberty stages for boys and girls.
Emotional Signs of Puberty in Males
Boys tend to experience different emotions while going through puberty. Irritability, sadness and depression can be experienced quite commonly by boys. At the same time, the emotions of fear and confusion also go side-by-side during puberty. They may also feel excited due to the different bodily changes that they go through. In simple words, there is an emotional roller-coaster that boys ride throughout their puberty years.
For some boys, puberty in boys – emotional problems can lead to aggression and easily getting agitated. They are trying to cope with what is happening to their bodies. They cannot talk about most of the changes openly with you. Some of the changes are shameful and guilt-ridden. Therefore, they may start experiencing low self-esteem.
However, by the end of puberty, these emotions began to subside gradually. Boys start developing more independent personalities. They do not look to parents for every single thing at all. Instead, their interest becomes more shifted towards peers and friends.
In a nutshell, puberty in males is a time of rapid and abrupt changes. Children need as much support as they can get from their parents during puberty. Parents should also discuss things openly and positively with their children. The initiative must be taken by the parents in majority of cases. Only then can the kids feel at ease and open up their minds completely. Make them realize that this is just a temporary phase and will end soon with limitless positivity and benefits for their future selves.
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