From Girls Reaching Puberty Early

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BLOT: (18 Aug 2010 - 08:57:02 AM)

From Girls Reaching Puberty Early

From Study: More U.S. girls starting puberty early:

More than 10 percent of white 7-year-old girls in the study, which was conducted in the mid-2000s, had reached a stage of breast development marking the start of puberty, compared to just 5 percent in a similar study conducted in the early 1990s.Black and Hispanic girls continue to mature faster than white girls, on average. Nearly one-quarter of black girls and 15 percent of Hispanic girls had entered puberty by age 7, according to the new study, which appears in the journal Pediatrics...
Experts aren't sure what's behind the increase in earlier puberty, but it's likely due to a combination of factors, including the childhood obesity epidemic and substances in the environment.

I blame plastics.

Ok, I don't exactly blame plastics, but they have shown micro-build-ups in animals' systems (livers and such) can cause higher than normal levels of various biologically altering substances to stick around [see the book The World Without Us for several discourses on this]. They make little chemical nets, leading to a problem in some fish and in animals that feed off fish, and since a lot of plastics break down into little beads and fibers almost too small see (if not too small to see) then the problem can be entirely overlooked. However, since these plastics tend to build up in animal's inner organs, which eight year old girls don't tend to eat, I wouldn't stake anything like a professional reputation on it. It is actually mentioned in the article, though, to some degree. "Chemicals in the environment - most notably bisphenol-A (BPA), which is found in many hard plastic products - may affect hormones as well..." [Doug's note: Take any science mentioned on with such a heavy grain of salt that it will raise your blood pressure]

By the way, favorite line in the whole thing? "But it's not yet clear why girls - and especially white girls - are starting to physically mature at younger ages." Apparently it's one thing when those mocha-fine tweens are budding breasts, but when lily-white does the same, it's a problem.

Second favorite line is the completely overlooked link between mother's who enter puberty early and daughters who do the same. And, this might be a stretch, but maybe mom's who have kids early due to early kid-bearing possibilities might just have kids more. Genetics? don't need no stinkin' genetics.

Of course, make note that by "puberty", they are mostly talking about breasts "budding" (their quote, I swear, but doesn't that put you in mind of the same sort of dime-store romance novel that would use the phrase "sighs with unspent passions" waaaay too many times?) and frankly, a fat 7-year old white boy is going to have breast buds, too. But still, I blame plastics.


BY WEEK: 2010, Week 33
BY MONTH: August 2010

Written by Doug Bolden

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