Young girls reaching puberty earlier and in larger numbers

USA Today reports:

About 15% of American girls now begin puberty by age 7, according to a study of 1,239 girls published last year in Pediatrics. One in 10 white girls begin developing breasts by that age — twice the rate seen in a 1997 study. Among black girls, such as Laila, 23% hit puberty by age 7.

“Over the last 30 years, we’ve shortened the childhood of girls by about a year and a half,” says Sandra Steingraber, author of a 2007 report on early puberty for the Breast Cancer Fund, an advocacy group. “That’s not good.”

Girls are being catapulted into adolescence long before their brains are ready for the change — a phenomenon that poses serious risks to their health, says Marcia Herman-Giddens, an adjunct professor at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill.



2 responses to “Young girls reaching puberty earlier and in larger numbers

  1. Just for anyone who is interested; the study was Biro et al. PEDIATRICS Volume 126, Number 3, September 2010. I hate it when news articles/reporters think it is unimportant to actually cite their sources.

  2. Oh, and I was not meaning to be critical of this blog, but rather of USA Today for not mentioning the reference.