Boys are starting puberty earlier in America. Researchers don’t necessarily think that’s a good thing.
Conventional thought for the longest time has been that girls tend to hit puberty some time before boys, which explains how I grew up believing that women were (and are) smarter than I.
Compared to data collected over the decades, boys who were checked up on between 2005 and 2010 were maturing physically about six months to two years earlier than before.
That says nothing of their social or mental development. I for one know that I’m still five years old up there.
Dr. Frank Biro, head of adolescent medicine at Cincinnati Children’s Medical Center, said that there’s now probably a bigger separation between boys’ physical and social maturation. “People are going to interact with them like they’re older.”
While girls are hitting puberty earlier and earlier, with theorizing that estrogen-like chemicals in the environment are jump-starting that process, the reasoning behind boys maturing earlier remains a mystery. At least something about males is a mystery, these days.
One possible explanation is the higher rates of obesity, which can futz with hormones. Some scientists are suggesting that the changes may not be occurring due to healthy causes. The study wasn’t designed to look at the entire picture, but focused primarily on the United States. Until research expands out globally, we won’t be able to compare and figure out just why it is happening.
So, parents, the general consensus is: Your kids are going to start getting weird earlier, so best have those awkward, awkward conversations sooner rather than later. Or you could just chain your kids to their beds until they get married, but I wouldn’t recommend that.
Question: How did your parents talk to you about the birds and the bees?