Transcription textuelle de la BD I’m a boy

This fact-sheet is not suitable for very young children.

Puberty doesn’t start at the same age for all children. That’s why SantéBD recommends using this fact-sheet with a parent or guardian, a teacher or a healthcare professional.

During adolescence, the thoughts in my head start to change… And so does my body.

Inside my head, my behaviour changes.

I feel myself becoming a man.

I might want to change the way I look.

I might want to dress differently.

I might want to change my hairstyle.

I might want to get:

(with my parent’s consent until I am 18-years old)

  • a tattoo
  • or a piercing.

I might also want to be just like everyone else.

I might want to do my own thing.

Spending time on social networks.


Playing music.

Playing sport.

Going out and dancing.

I might just want to be alone.

I might want to stay in my room by myself.

The thoughts inside my head are changing… I don’t know what I want. I have a lot of questions to answer.

My body has changed.

I don’t look the same as before.

It feels like people don’t look at me the same as they used to.

I might experience:

Strong feelings for somebody.

Or somebody might have strong feelings for me.

People have to respect what I choose.

I can say « Yes » if it feels right.

I must say « No » if I don’t feel the same way.

I must also accept refusal from others.

I might also want to smoke, or drink alcohol.

I may be tempted to try to fit in.

But it’s OK to say « No ».

It’s bad for my health.

I may come into contact with other young people who smoke cannabis.

I should stay away: it’s very bad for my health.

In most countries it’s totally against the law.

I can ask for help if I am unsure what to do.

My family and friends can help me.

  • A cousin
  • A female friend
  • My parents
  • My teachers
  • A male friend

There are also specialist helplines to give me advice.

I can talk to them about any problems I have, for example:

  • I act strange when I drink alcohol.
  • I smoke too much.
  • I’m regularly using drugs.
  • I’m getting bullied online.
  • I feel really sad all the time.
  • People are bullying me.

I want to make new male and female friends.

I might not want to see my old friends anymore.

But how do I make new friends ?

I want to be part of a group.

I want them to like me.

I want to fit in.

I change the way I behave with my parents.

I love my parents, but sometimes they’re just so annoying!

They feel the same way about me!

I no longer agree with my parents.

We argue a lot.

It feels like they don’t love me anymore…

…but they love me just as much as ever!

My emotions are stronger.

My mood changes suddenly!

  • I’m OK.
  • I’m sad.
  • I feel like laughing.
  • I’m mad.
  • I’m embarrassed.
  • I feel like crying.
  • I’m happy.

Sometimes I might get violent and lose control.

I need help to calm down.

I’m starting to ask some major questions about my life.

  • Who am I?
  • What do I like?
  • What don’t I like?
  • Who do I love?
  • Who loves me?

I am an adolescent my body is changing too.

I can see and feel my body changing.

I can see that:

  • My shoulders are getting wider.
  • My muscles are starting to show.
  • Hairs are growing on my body and around my pubic area.
  • My penis is getting longer.
  • My testicles are lowering.

My pubic area also changes shape.

My penis will get longer and wider.

My testicles are getting bigger and hanging lower.

Hairs are growing all around my penis and on my testicles.

I might want to look at my pubic area in the mirror.

My pubic area is composed of penis, head, meatus, testicles and anus.

When I become an adult, my penis might be bigger or smaller.

Every man’s penis is different – large or small, thick or thin, light or dark…

If my penis is circumcised, I will be able to see the head.

Circumcision is done for health, or cultural reasons.

My testicles become very sensitive.

It can really hurt if I hit them.

My penis can get harder and longer: this is an erection.

I might have an erection for no reason when I wake up.

It’s perfectly normal.

I might get an erection when I see someone I like.

It might be a shock to start with. It’s difficult to control it.

I can learn to control my erections.

I might also get an erection when my penis rubs against cloth.

Rubbing against my trousers when I’m walking around, for example.

I can also get an erection when I stroke my penis.

This is called masturbation – For more information, see page 40.

Semen may exit from the tip of my penis. This is called an ejaculation.

Semen is a white liquid that contains my sperm.

These are the cells that allow men to make a baby.

This liquid is not urine.

This can happen while I am asleep, even without touching my penis.

It’s perfectly normal.

Hairs appear:

  • Under my arms
  • On my chest
  • On my arms
  • Around my penis
  • On my legs

Hairs also start to grow on my face.

To begin with there are not very many.

A lump appears in my throat.

This is my « Adam’s apple ».

My voice breaks, it becomes deeper.

To begin with my voice might be a little shaky.

I might get acne: these are spots on my skin.

  • On my face,
  • and sometimes on my back.

My hair might become greasy.

The smell of my body changes and gets stronger.

I can talk about all these changes.

With someone I know and trust:

My parents, my brother, my sister, a male or female friend, a teacher…

I can also ask to speak to a healthcare professional – my doctor, a nurse or a psychologist.

I can ask to speak to a man if I prefer.

There are also counselling and health testing centres available.

I can go there by myself or with a male or female friend.

I don’t need to tell my parents.

It’s free.

I absolutely must speak to a healthcare professional:

If I feel depressed,

If I’m drinking or smoking too much, or taking drugs.

If my acne is bad,

If I have pain in my sexual organs – my penis or testicles,

For example, when I masturbate.

If I have questions I want to ask before I have sex with someone:

Questions on contraception.

Questions on diseases I can catch – these are STIs.

See the fact-sheet « What is contraception? »

See the fact-sheet « I can choose my method ».

My body is changing… I need to care of it.

I take care of my personal hygiene.

I wash every day.

I remember to wash:

  • My face,
  • under my arms.

I wash my penis.

I gently roll back the skin to uncover the head.

I wash the head with soap. I rinse the end of my penis carefully.

If I have a lot of acne spots, the doctor can give me a treatment.

I wash my face with special soap.

Sometimes, the doctor will give me a cream to put on my acne spots.

My doctor may give me medication to take.

I must not squeeze my acne spots.

I can put deodorant under my arms after I shower.

I may want to remove the hairs that have grown.

I can shave my face.

I put on shaving foam.

I shave my face with a razor.

I might want to remove the hairs that have grown on my body.

I can shave my body, but it’s better to remove hair with wax:

the hairs grow back more slowly and there are less of them.

The doctor recommends not removing the hairs around my penis.

My pubic hair helps to protect against bacteria.

If I have lots of hairs around my penis I can wax or shave them.

It’s normal to be interested in all these changes.

Sometimes I’ll look at myself when I’m alone.

I look at myself in the mirror.

I might want to touch my penis.

I might want to look at my testicles.

I might want to stroke my penis.

This action can be pleasurable: it’s intense and I may enjoy it.

This is called masturbation.

Semen may come out of the tip of my penis.

This is called an ejaculation.

This can happen when I touch my penis faster and harder.

Sometimes I won’t ejaculate.

When this happens, I clean up any semen on me and around me.

I wash my hands before meeting up with others.

It’s OK to masturbate if I don’t do it in front of other people.

These new sensations may be surprising.

I can find out what I like more, and what I like less.

I might think about sharing the feelings with someone.

During adolescence, boys might have strong feelings for a girl or a boy.

I imagine holding someone in my arms/

I think about kissing someone.

I think about touching someone.

I think about the day I will have sex for the first time.

How? Who with?

I wonder if I will like it.

I wonder if I will know what to do.

I wonder if it is normal to feel all these things.

Does everybody ask the same questions ?

Yes! Everybody feels these changes and asks questions.

I am becoming an adult.


What happens inside my body?

My body slowly changes on the inside.

My sexual organs are formed.

These are the parts I need to have a baby and to have sex.

My testicles contain sperm.

Sperm are in my semen when I ejaculate.

This liquid is not urine.

This fact-sheet was made with help from Santé publique France.

The fact-sheet was supervised by Sheila Warembourg. A Public Health and Sexual Health specialist. Sexual Understanding.

The fact-sheet also benefited from the expertise of François Crochon. Psycho-motor therapist and Sexual Health clinician, Director of CeRHeS.


SantéBD is free.

SantéBD is a project by the NGO Coactis Santé
SantéBD booklets are produced in partnership with different participants from the world of healthcare and working with disabilities. Illustrations by Frédérique Mercier.
Copyright Coactis Santé


The creation of this tool was made possible with the support of:

  • la Fondation Handicap Malakoff Humanis
  • la Fondation de France
  • la mairie de Paris
  • l’Assurance maladie
  • la Caisse nationale de solidarité pour l’autonomie
  • Santé publique France

This document was proofread by people with learning disabilities and respects the European Easy-to-Read Guidelines. These guidelines help to make information available for everyone.

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