Please click on this link to see a CNN news story about Body of Knowledge: Puberty.
Girls today are reaching puberty around three years earlier than in previous generations. The average age of menstruation was 15 years, it is now 12. Many girls are menstruating at 9 years old, outward signs of puberty, such as pubic hair, as early as 6 years old.
The cause is unknown, so there is little parents can do to prevent it.
Some suspects include environmental toxicity, eating from estrogen-filled plastic products, medicinal hormones in the water supply, hormones in milk and estrogen-like chemicals in soy milk, inundating girls with sexualized images in the media, even rising obesity rates in today's children. Read more about these causes (with relevant source links) in my earlier article: Precocious Puberty.
Concerns of early and prolonged estrogen include higher risk of various cancers. So I wonder if the danger of estrogen-related birth control increases as well?
I have some concerns about fertility that I have yet to see addressed: If a girl's puberty process is on fast forward what does that mean for her future fertility? Will she reach menopause at the traditional time or will that also occur earlier? Can she still expect to be fertile in her late 20s and early 30s? Is there any way to answer that question before this generation of girls reach that milestone?
This news cast is saying they've identified a new factor - stress in the home.
Lest you think boys are in the clear and unaffected, think about who needs an overdose in estrogen, or phytoestrogens, even less than girls? Boys.
At this point, I have far more questions than I do answers for you. Bookmark and subscribe to Empowering Girls: So Sioux Me, as I research the issues, I'll keep you informed.