At what age do boys begin to ejaculate?

Sexuality: Boys become sexually mature earlier and earlier

When Johann Sebastian Bach was cantor and music director in Leipzig in the middle of the 18th century, he also directed the Thomanerchor, which is still famous today. The boy's voices had to sound pure and high. When they got deep and brittle, they were no longer allowed to sing along.

Most of the time the young men were part of the choir until they were around 18 years old - only then did their voices break. During a famine that accompanied the War of the Austrian Succession in the years 1740–1748, the boys stayed with the choir even longer due to their consistently bright, girlish voices. That was the result of a study from the 1970s.

Today the boys lose their childlike voice much earlier. Most boys begin to croak dark and hoarse by the age of around 13. The voice break is a typical sign of puberty, the onset of adulthood and imminent sexual maturity.

New determination method

It has long been assumed that boys are becoming sexually mature at an ever younger age. But so far there has been no scientific evidence of this. In contrast to girls, who have long known that they sometimes have their first menstruation at the age of nine, it is more difficult to determine sexual maturity in boys.

Women usually remember the time of their first menstrual period for a lifetime. When the sperm ark takes place and a sufficient number of mature sperm can be found in the ejaculate, boys cannot tell with the naked eye.

Now researchers at the Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research in Rostock have found a way to understand the earlier sexual maturity. They studied the mortality statistics of Denmark, Italy, Sweden, Great Britain, and Norway since the mid-18th century. In the late phase of puberty, when the voice breakage has been overcome and fertility is achieved, researchers recognize an "accident hump".

At this time, the hormone release is particularly high and with it the willingness to take risks: This includes dangerous posturing, carelessness and a high willingness to use violence.

Puberty: a particularly risky time

At this age, boys are exposed to a higher risk of death. Professor Joshua Goldstein, director of the Research Institute for Demography, has now found that this "accident hump" has shifted by around 2.5 months per decade since the mid-18th century.

It also follows from this that the boys become more and more capable of childbearing. Goldstein doesn't know exactly when that will happen. "An 18-year-old today is as physically developed as a 22-year-old around 1800," says Goldstein. The reasons for this are good medical care and nutrition.