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Rushing into puberty

October 25, 2012

Year by year there is more evidence the average onset of puberty for children is dropping. Improved health conditions and medical development in late 19th century started this trend. But what once was considered as health service achievement is now becoming a liability.

German researchers recently discovered, 150 years ago girls started puberty at 17, two years ago that age was reduced to mere 10 and a half. With each passing decade the onset seems to decline for five months in average. The change of stepping into adulthood would not be problematic itself, if the trend were stopping or at least slowing down. But it does not. Latest study by the American Academy of Pediatrics confirms the notion. The average step into puberty for white girls now stands at 9.9 years and 8.8 years for black girls.

In the beginning it was suggested better health conditions were behind the trend. Then, abundance of food was thought to be the main cause, since certain weight triggers body’s inner clock to start producing adult hormones. However, recent Danish study rejected this explanation. So what is it, then? The latest culprits are chemicals in environment, food and cosmetics, better known as hormonal disrupters. But whatever the reason, the fact remains; some children are now entering puberty before they even go to school and this should really concern us.

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From → Zeitgeist

2 Comments
  1. A good question is: what do we do now? If so many children are maturing more quickly, something needs to change in the way we approach education.

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