Teen boy and girl

Puberty Differences Between Boys and Girls

As a parent, you probably remember this time when you were transitioning from childhood into the world of adulthood . It is called puberty age, and it can be a confusing and overwhelming time for many kids. Their bodies undergo physical and hormonal changes. There are many differences between boys and girls development, particularly when puberty starts. 

You can make it easier for them by knowing what to expect in order to support your child through the different puberty stages. To learn more about things like: what is purity? The various puberty stages that children go through and the physical changes during puberty, keep reading.

Puberty Differences Between Boys and Girls

Puberty Differences Between Boys And Girls

What Is Puberty?

Puberty is the term for the time when a child’s body starts developing and changing as they transition from child to adult. We are talking about things like girls starting to develop breasts and boys starting to look like men. When children reach puberty age, their bodies start to grow faster than any other time of their life, except when they were babies. No two individuals are the same, but one thing that everybody has in common is that we all go through puberty.

What Age Does Puberty Start For Boys And Girls?

Puberty typically begins between the ages of eight and thirteen for girls and between ages nine and fifteen for boys. This broad range in ages is a good way to explain why some kids will still look like young children while others will start looking more like adults.

During this time a child’s body will grow at a rapid pace. When they go through puberty, it might appear like their sleeves are always becoming shorter and their pants are creeping up their legs. This is because they are experiencing a growth spurt that will last for about two to three years. As soon as this growth spurt reaches its peak, some children will grow four more inches (ten centimetres) in a year. Towards the end of the growth spurt, they would have reached their adult height, or almost.

Physical Changes For Boys During Puberty

Boys and Girls go through five puberty stages.

Stage 1 – Ages nine to ten (no obvious changes) – This is what the child looks like before the physical signs of puberty starts appearing. When they’ve reached the end of stage one, their brains will begin sending signals to their bodies to start preparing for the changes.

Stage 2 – At around eleven years old

For boys, stage 2 is where physical development starts. Hormones start to send signals to the body. The testicles and scrotum begin to grow larger and pubic hair will start appearing on the base of the penis.

Stage 3 – At around thirteen years old

The physical changes are becoming more noticeable. The physical changes in boys include:

  • The penis and testicles continue to get bigger.
  • Breast tissue may begin to develop under the nipples (it happens during the development stages for boys and will eventually go away after around two years).
  • They will start having wet dreams.
  • Their voices start to crack.
  • Their muscles grow bigger.
  • Height will increase to around 2 to 3.2 inches a year.

Stage 4 – At around fourteen years old

More physical changes will happen, which include:

  • The scrotum, penis, and testicles are getting bigger.
  • Scrotum will become darker in colour.
  • Their voice will become deeper and remain so permanently.
  • Acne might appear.

Stage 5 – At around fifteen years old

  • The penis, scrotum, and testicles will reach adult size.
  • Pubic hair will start spreading to the inner thighs.
  • Facial hair will appear, and your boy will begin shaving.
  • Muscles might continue growing, but growth in height will start slowing down.
  • By the age of eighteen years old, boys will have reached their full growth.

Hormonal Changes For Males During Puberty

For boys, hormones move through the blood and start signaling the testicles to start producing testosterone and sperm. Testosterone is a hormone that is responsible for causing all the changes in a boy’s body during puberty age. Sperm cells must be generated  in order for men to reproduce.

Girl and boy teen years

Physical Changes For Girls During Puberty

Stage 1 – At around eight years old

This is what girls look like before the physical signs of puberty starts appearing. When they’ve reached the end of stage one, their brains will begin sending signals to their bodies to start preparing for the changes.

Stage 2 – From ages nine to eleven years old

During stage 2, girls will start developing “buds” just under the nipple areas, the beginning of breast development. These areas might feel tender and itchy, which is perfectly normal.

No two girls are alike and it is commonplace for breasts to be different sizes and develop at dissimilar rates. The areola (dark area around the nipple) will also start expanding. A girl’s uterus will also start getting larger and small sections of pubic hair will start developing on the vulva lips.

Stage 3 – After the age of twelve

The physical changes will start to be more apparent. These will include:

  • Breast buds will continue to expand and grow.
  • Pubic hair will become curlier and thicker.
  • Girls will start growing hair under their armpits.
  • Acne might appear on the back and face areas.
  • The most significant growth rate for height starts (about 3.2 inches a year).
  • Thighs and hips will begin building up fat.

Stage 4 – At around thirteen years old

Puberty is now in full swing and the physical changes will become noticeable.

  • Breasts will appear fuller and will no longer be in the “bud” stage.
  • Many girls would have gotten their first period by now, usually between ages twelve and fourteen. But it could begin sooner.
  • Height growth will start slowing down to around two to three inches a year.
  • Pubic hair will become thicker.

Stage 5 – At around fifteen years old

This is the last and final stage of a girl’s maturation. These changes will happen:

  • Breasts will reach the average shape and size of adulthood, though it might continue changing until the age of eighteen.
  • A girl’s period becomes more regular after 6 months to 2 years.
  • Adult height is reached one to two years after girl’s have their first menstrual cycle.
  • Pubic hair starts filling out, reaching the inner thighs.
  • By now the genitals as well as the reproductive organs will be fully developed.
  • The buttocks, hips, and thighs start to become a fuller shape.

Hormonal Changes For Females During Puberty

During the puberty age of girls, FSH (follicle-stimulating hormones) and LH (luteinizing hormones) will start targeting the ovaries that contain eggs which have been present since birth. These hormones stimulate the ovaries to start making another hormone, that is called estrogen. FSH, LH, and estrogen are responsible for a girl’s body to start maturing and preparing for pregnancy. All these new hormones move around in the body, transitioning a teenage girl into a grown woman with adult hormone levels.

How to Support Your Boy or Girl During Puberty

Puberty age is a time of enormous change, not only for your child, but also for you as the parent. You can help your children transition from child to adult by being knowledgeable about the developmental stages of puberty, being reassuring, and respecting your children’s need for privacy. Be proactive in supporting your child by following a few practical steps:

  • Be reassuring and explain to them that puberty is an exciting period in one’s life, preparing them for adulthood.
  • Show compassion for the changes they are going through, explaining to them that what they are going through is normal.
  • Explain to them that not everyone’s the same and that some kid’s develop faster than others, and that bodies differ in size and shape.
  • Respect your child’s need for privacy and knock before going into their rooms.
  • Offer them the support they need, especially if they are late or early to puberty. Explain to them that each person’s body develops at its own pace.


We hope that you have found this post about puberty differences between boys and girls helpful and that it will give you the information you need to support and reassure them during this important stage in their lives. 

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  1. Oh wow how interesting.. My daughter is 12, will be reading this to her in the morning, Thank you for the information Xx

    • My daughter is turning 10 soon, so this is an area of interest to me too since I need to prepare my daughter (and myself) for all the changes that are coming!

  2. Is there something wrong with the boy if the breast tissues don’t go away after the mentioned years?

  3. I love this and my first two 12 & 13 i already talk about it.very interested post and so informative .learn so much and also ready for this stage your post give me so much info and how .sometimes kids are shy to and its the way you also give the advice to them .

  4. I remember my eldest sister gave me some of the bees and birds talk the rest and most of it you learn in school now a days it is quite advanced. Thank you for the information I ha e already been thinking how would I start this discussion with my son when he gets there one day.

  5. Monique Delcarme-Adams

    Don’t know if I should be happy that I have 2 boys or not ? always thought it was less PT. Man oh man was I wrong!

    • LOL I have a pigeon pair and we are very soon in the teen years with puberty coming on. I’m about to find out the joy of parenting teens very soon

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