If you’re 16 and you’re ending puberty, your penis is approximately the size it’ll remain throughout adulthood. For many at age 16, that’s an average flaccid (not erect) length of about 3.75 inches and an average erect length between 5 and 7 inches.
The girth (circumference) of a flaccid penis and an erect penis average about 3.6 inches and 4.5 inches respectively.
The length and girth of a flaccid penis changes frequently, primarily based on temperature. A flaccid uncircumcised penis that still has its foreskin may look a little bigger than a flaccid circumcised penis. However, the foreskin retracts during an erection, so there’s little difference in how big an erect penis looks whether or not it’s been circumcised.
Puberty is actually the second time in your life when your penis goes through a growth spurt. During the first year of life, penis length and girth grow significantly. Then there’s slow, steady growth until puberty hits. At puberty, the penis and testicles grow more rapidly.
The puberty timetable is different for every person. The age puberty begins also varies. It can start as early as age 9 or 10, or later, at ages 13 or 14.
Also, during puberty, you get taller and broader. Your muscle mass grows and your voice deepens. You also start growing hair around your genitals, under your arms, on your chest, and on your face.
Your penis grows until the end of puberty. At 16, you may still be in puberty, so your penis may still be growing.
On average, puberty ends between the ages of 16 and 18. If you started puberty at a later age, however, you may still be growing and changing into your early 20s. That growth also includes your penis.
Even though some of the more obvious changes brought on by puberty may slow down and stop around age 18, your penis may continue growing until age 21.
Remember that the size of a flaccid penis varies tremendously. To get the most accurate measurement, measure your penis when you have an erection. When measuring it, measure on the top side from the tip down to the base.
In a study published in the Journal of Urology, researchers interviewed 290 young men about body image and teasing they endured or witnessed in the locker room. About 10 percent of the men admitted to being teased about the appearance of their penis, while 47 percent recall witnessing teasing by others.
Size was the most common target of teasing, though the appearance of an uncircumcised penis or a penis that looked different in other ways also generated a lot of comments.
Every penis is different, so yours won’t look exactly like those of other guys. It’s common for penises to have slight bends, and some flaccid penises look bigger than other flaccid ones. Your penis may also naturally hang to one side or the other.
As you’re going through puberty, it can be easy to feel self-conscious and wonder if the changes you’re experiencing are the same changes others are going through. Chances are, other guys are wondering the same thing.
Two pieces of advice to address body image concerns:
- Stay off of social media as much as possible. The ideas, pictures, and misinformation out there can make anyone self-conscious.
- Keep your fitness and health in mind. Staying healthy may make you feel better and more comfortable in your body.
If you find yourself worrying about your body, talk with a counselor, parent, or doctor.
School counselors can provide a safe space to talk about these concerns, and they won’t share anything you say with your peers. They can also help connect you with a mental health professional, if needed, or help you find ways to talk about your concerns with your parents or a doctor.
If you feel your penis is smaller than average at age 16, you can share your concerns with your doctor. There are conditions in which a small penis is one of the symptoms.
Klinefelter syndrome, for example, is a condition in which a male is born with an additional X chromosome. As a result, they may have a smaller-than-average penis and testicles, as well as female traits, such as the development of breast tissue.
Treatment for Klinefelter syndrome and other hormone-related disorders that affect penis size and male development usually involves testosterone therapy.
If the length or appearance of your penis bothers you, keep in mind that your genitals don’t define your masculinity or your other qualities. Also remember that you are likely more concerned about your size than anyone else. It’s also important to remember that middle school, high school, and puberty itself are brief chapters in your life.
If the locker room becomes too uncomfortable, you can look for ways to minimize your experience:
- Change in a bathroom stall.
- Wrap yourself in a towel, even if others aren’t being modest.
- You may be able to get a waiver for gym class. Find a teacher, administrator, or counselor with a willing ear to share your concerns.
At 16, there are other important things you can focus on rather than the length of your penis. Enjoy your time with family and friends and make the most of your high school years.
But if you’re genuinely worried or curious about the length and appearance of your penis, try talking with a parent or perhaps an older family member. If these options aren’t possible, talk with your doctor. You won’t be the first teenager to ask these kinds of questions and you won’t be the last.