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  1. #1
    omegaflux's Avatar
    omegaflux is offline Established Member
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    Girls reaching puberty increasingly early, finds US study

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    Girls reaching puberty increasingly early, finds US study


    Obesity may be linked to finding that one in four black girls and one in 10 white girls in the US develop breasts by age seven
    A US study shows that almost one in four black girls and one in 10 white girls had developed breasts by the age of seven.
    The findings are the latest in a string of studies showing that girls in the US are reaching puberty sooner, with implications both for the social and emotional wellbeing of girls as well as for their physical health in later life. Early maturation has been shown to cause low self-esteem and doubts about body image, as well as greater rates of eating problems, depression and attempted suicide.

    It is linked to earlier sexual experiences, and later on carries greater risks of breast cancer.

    The researchers found that at the age of seven 23.4% of black girls, 14.9% of Hispanics and 10.4% of white girls had developed breasts.

    At 8 those proportions had risen further to 42.9%, 30.9% and 18.3% respectively.

    A similar survey completed in 1997 found the proportion of white girls who had developed breasts by seven was 5% — half of what it is today.

    The proportion of black girls in that bracket has also shot up in the past decade, from 15% in 1997 to 23% today.

    Studies have shown that in the 1700s girls began menstruation on average at about age 17-18, though that might be as much to do with widespread malnutrition as with other factors.

    Experts point to several possible causes of the declining age of puberty.

    Top of the list is obesity, as excessive body fat is understood to increase the levels of oestrogen that play a role in breast growth. One in three children in the US are now obese or overweight, a rate that is rising despite efforts from Michelle Obama in the White House down to combat the epidemic.

    Other areas of concern include environmental factors. Prime among those are chemicals known as endocrine disrupters that act on hormones to change bodily functions.

    The precise role of chemicals on child development is still the subject of debate. But researchers believe that components of plastics such as bisphenol A, which has a similar structure to oestrogen, and is found in plastic bottles and in the lining of drinks cans, may be significant.

    Phthalates, chemicals that disrupt the work of hormones, have also been pinpointed as possible culprits.

    The study, published in the journal Pediatrics and led by a team from the Cincinnati children's hospital, was based on 1,239 girls aged six to eight. The sample was drawn from three areas across America: East Harlem in New York, Cincinnati and San Francisco.

    The importance of diet and environmental factors is highlighted in the new study by region. Cincinnati had a much higher prevalence of the onset of breast development among 7 year olds (18.9%) than either New York (15.3%) or San Francisco (11.6%).

    San Francisco's relatively low ratings may have something to do with the city's emphasis on healthy eating, exercise and limited use of plastics and other harmful chemicals.
    As a Cincinnati resident, I'm not surprised. Last time I heard, our state was sixth for cancer deaths. We're in the top 10 (#8) for most polluted city. Now we have this to be proud of.
    Last edited by omegaflux; 10th-August-2010 at 09:51 PM.

  2. #2
    johnkimble1's Avatar
    johnkimble1 is offline Established Member
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    Re: Girls reaching puberty increasingly early, finds US study

    What an idiotic study.

    Obesity aside, the main cause of early puberty in girls is a lack of contact with her father. This has been proven time and again to cause puberty to occur at least one year earlier. Higher levels of fatherlessness in the black community and the resulting earlier puberty would back this fact up.

  3. #3
    omegaflux's Avatar
    omegaflux is offline Established Member
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    Re: Girls reaching puberty increasingly early, finds US study

    Quote Quote from johnkimble1 View Post
    What an idiotic study.

    Obesity aside, the main cause of early puberty in girls is a lack of contact with her father. This has been proven time and again to cause puberty to occur at least one year earlier. Higher levels of fatherlessness in the black community and the resulting earlier puberty would back this fact up.
    I've never actually heard that before (absence of father causing early puberty), so I won't comment on it, though I'd be interested in reading some studies if you happen to have any links.

    Like I said, I can't comment on it, but even if it is the case as you say, that wouldn't account for such a huge leap. I mean, when you see puberty occurring that early, you have to look for environmental factors (like chemicals that disrupt hormones). To test your theory, we'd have to know whether or not the girls in the study had contact with their fathers. We don't know this. We can speculate based on divorce rates. California's divorce rate is higher than Ohio, but California had the lowest rate of early puberty in the girls. Of course divorce rate doesn't necessarily translate to no contact with the father.

    This is a big jump when we're seeing it so young. Similar findings are being found among males. Sperm counts for men today are lower than our fathers. We know there are chemicals in our air, water, and food, some of which are known to mimic estrogen. This cannot be solely attributed to fatherlessness.

  4. #4
    rohara's Avatar
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    Re: Girls reaching puberty increasingly early, finds US study

    Funny how so much time an money is spent on researching the development of girls and their problems while growing up but none is spent on boys who have higher rates of suicide and more social issues.
    Do not ever suppose that a small group of people can never change the world. INDEED it is the only thing that ever has.

    Anonymous.

  5. #5
    omegaflux's Avatar
    omegaflux is offline Established Member
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    Re: Girls reaching puberty increasingly early, finds US study

    Quote Quote from rohara View Post
    Funny how so much time an money is spent on researching the development of girls and their problems while growing up but none is spent on boys who have higher rates of suicide and more social issues.
    They're (boys) about to have even more issues. We now will have 8 year old girls PMSing on 8 year old boys. Their lives are about to get even worse.

  6. #6
    johnkimble1's Avatar
    johnkimble1 is offline Established Member
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    Re: Girls reaching puberty increasingly early, finds US study

    Quote Quote from omegaflux View Post
    I've never actually heard that before (absence of father causing early puberty), so I won't comment on it, though I'd be interested in reading some studies if you happen to have any links.
    It's a reasonably straighforward phenomonon - the better the relationship the girl has with her father, the later she enters puberty. Even fathers who aren't clsoe to their kids help delays things somewhat, but a loving father whom the girl is close to has the biggest impact.

    Similarly if a girl has no biological father around and is exposed to mum's various different boyfriends then this has a big negative impact and makes her row up quicker.

    there are a lot of studies on this, here's a piece in the Guardian:

    Oliver James on whether absent fathers trigger early puberty in girls | Life and style | The Guardian

    I also saw a piece on the BBC regarding the issue - researchers took photos of hundreds of young women of the same age and divided them into whether they had lived with their fathers or not. they then merged the diffenret images to create two composites. People were then asked to guess the age of the subjects, with the father-absent image appearing to be one year older than the other image.



    For the sake of fairness and accuracy be noted that loving mothers have an impact too on girl's puberty, though nothing like as significant.

  7. #7
    omegaflux's Avatar
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    Re: Girls reaching puberty increasingly early, finds US study

    Thanks for the link. I'll have to track down some more studies. One thing the article said:

    Changing genes could not possibly explain the trend (they take millennia to alter), although there is some evidence that it could be partly due to the greater quantity of body fat in our increasingly obese child population. But by far the most important factor seems to be a girl's relationship with her dad.
    Perhaps when the article was written there was only "some evidence," but the report in my original post makes for even more evidence. There's so many factors that make it difficult to determine the 'true' cause, and there isn't always a single cause. I guess the only way would be to conduct a study using only girls from intact marriages with active fathers. If the results are the same, or nearly the same, as in the report I posted, then it would give more credence to obesity being a cause.

    As with any medical phenomenon, there a


 

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