Tag Archives: Puberty

University of California Berkeley study: Chemicals used in personal care products linked to early puberty in girls

23 Dec

The goal of this society should be to raise healthy and happy children who will grow into concerned and involved adults who care about their fellow citizens and environment. Science Daily reported in Prenatal exposure to common household chemicals linked with substantial drop in child IQ:

Children exposed during pregnancy to elevated levels of two common chemicals found in the home–di-n-butyl phthalate (DnBP) and di-isobutyl phthalate (DiBP)–had an IQ score, on average, more than six points lower than children exposed at lower levels, according to researchers at Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health. The study is the first to report a link between prenatal exposure to phthalates and IQ in school-age children. Results appear online in the journal PLOS ONE.
PSYBLOG lists common household items in 8 Household Items Newly Found to Lower Children’s IQ Significantly:
Avoiding phthalates
While it is impossible to avoid phthalates completely, they are found in these common products, amongst others:
• Hairspray.
• Plastic containers used for microwaving food.
• Lipstick.
• Air fresheners.
• Dryer sheets.
• Nail polish.
• Some soaps.
• Recycled plastics labelled 3,6 or 7.
http://www.spring.org.uk/2014/12/8-household-items-newly-found-to-lower-childrens-iq-significantly.php

A University of California Berkeley study found chemicals in personal care products could be linked to early puberty in girls.

Healio reported in Chemicals used in personal care products linked to early puberty in girls:

Prenatal exposure to chemicals found in toothpaste, fragrances and makeup may cause girls to enter puberty at an earlier age, according to a study published in Human Reproduction….
“We also found that girls who had higher levels of parabens (used as preservatives in makeup and other personal care products) in their urine at age 9 also entered puberty about 6 months earlier than those with lower levels.”
Harley and colleagues used data from the Center for the Health Assessment of Mothers and Children of Salinas (CHAMACOS) — a longitudinal birth cohort study of pesticides and other environmental exposures among children in a farmworker community — to follow 338 children (179 girls) from birth to adolescence. Pregnant women were enrolled in CHAMACOS between 1999 and 2000, and most were Latina, living below the federal poverty line and had not graduated from high school. The researchers measured concentrations of chemicals in urine collected from the mothers during pregnancy and children aged 9 years.
Harley and colleagues used Tanner staging to measure pubertal timing among the children every 9 months between the ages of 9 and 13 years.
The researchers noted an association between earlier onset of pubic hair development in girls and prenatal urinary monoethyl phthalate concentrations, and earlier menarche and prenatal triclosan and 2.4-dichlorophenol concentrations. Methyl paraben was associated with earlier breast and pubic hair development and menarche; probyl paraben was associated with earlier menarche; and 2.5 dichlorophenol was associated with later pubic hair development.
The researchers found no associations between prenatal urinary biomarker concentrations and the early onset of puberty in boys, and only one association with peripubertal concentrations: propyl paraben was linked to earlier genital development.
The study results are “important because earlier puberty in girls is associated with an increased risk for mental health and behavior problems in childhood and increased risk for breast cancer later in life,” Harley said. “These chemicals are suspected endocrine disruptors and appear to act as weak estrogens in some circumstances, which may explain why we found the associations in girls but not boys…. https://www.healio.com/pediatrics/endocrinology/news/online/%7B85201e95-39e6-4ff1-a642-9806d8c4cac9%7D/chemicals-used-in-personal-care-products-linked-to-early-puberty-in-girls

Citation:

Harley KG, Berger KP, Kogut K, et al. Association of phthalates, parabens and phenols found in personal care products with pubertal timing in girls and boys [published online December 4, 2018]. Hum Reprod. doi:10.1093/humrep/dey337

Here is the press release from University of California Berkeley:

Prenatal exposure to chemicals in personal care products may speed puberty in girls
By Kara Manke| December 3, 2018
Many personal care products contain chemicals that are known endocrine-disruptors. A new study shows that prenatal exposure to two common chemicals, diethyl phosphate and triclosan, may be linked to earlier puberty in girls.
Girls exposed to chemicals commonly found in toothpaste, makeup, soap and other personal care products before birth may hit puberty earlier, according to a new longitudinal study led by researchers at UC Berkeley.
The results, which were published Dec. 4 in the journal Human Reproduction, came from data collected as part of the Center for the Health Assessment of Mothers and Children of Salinas (CHAMACOS) study, which followed 338 children from before birth to adolescence to document how early environmental exposures affect childhood development.
Over the past 20 years, studies have shown that girls and possibly boys have been experiencing puberty at progressively younger ages. This is troubling news, as earlier age at puberty has been linked with increased risk of mental illness, breast and ovarian cancer in girls and testicular cancer in boys.
Researchers in the School of Public Health found that daughters of mothers who had higher levels of diethyl phthalate and triclosan in their bodies during pregnancy experienced puberty at younger ages. The same trend was not observed in boys.
Diethyl phthalate is often used as a stabilizer in fragrances and cosmetics. The antimicrobial agent triclosan — which the FDA banned from use in hand soap in 2017 because it was shown to be ineffective — is still used in some toothpastes.
“We know that some of the things we put on our bodies are getting into our bodies, either because they pass through the skin or we breathe them in or we inadvertently ingest them,” said Kim Harley, an associate adjunct professor in the School of Public Health. “We need to know how these chemicals are affecting our health.”
Researchers suspect that many chemicals in personal care products can interfere with natural hormones in our bodies, and studies have shown that exposure to these chemicals can alter reproductive development in rats. Chemicals that have been implicated include phthalates, which are often found in scented products like perfumes, soaps and shampoos; parabens, which are used as preservatives in cosmetics; and phenols, which include triclosan.
However, few studies have looked at how these chemicals might affect the growth of human children. “We wanted to know what effect exposure to these chemicals has during certain critical windows of development, which include before birth and during puberty,” Harley said.
The CHAMACOS study recruited pregnant women living in the farm-working, primarily Latino communities of Central California’s Salinas Valley between 1999 and 2000. While the primary aim of the study was to examine the impact of pesticide exposure on childhood development, the researchers used the opportunity to examine the effects of other chemicals as well.
The team measured concentrations of phthalates, parabens and phenols in urine samples taken from mothers twice during pregnancy, and from children at the age of 9. They then followed the growth of the children — 159 boys and 179 girls — between the ages of 9 and 13 to track the timing of developmental milestones marking different stages of puberty.
The vast majority — more than 90 percent — of urine samples of both mothers and children showed detectable concentrations of all three classes of chemicals, with the exception of triclosan which was present in approximately 70 percent of samples.
The researchers found that every time the concentrations of diethyl phthalate and triclosan in the mother’s urine doubled, the timing of developmental milestones in girls shifted approximately one month earlier. Girls who had higher concentrations of parabens in their urine at age 9 also experienced puberty at younger ages. However, it is unclear if the chemicals were causing the shift, or if girls who reached puberty earlier were more likely to start using personal care products at younger ages, Harley said.
“While more research is needed, people should be aware that there are chemicals in personal care products that may be disrupting the hormones in our bodies,” Harley said.
Consumers who are concerned about chemicals in personal care products can take practical steps to limit their exposure, Harley said.
“There has been increasing awareness of chemicals in personal care products and consumer demand for products with lower levels of chemicals,” Harley said. “Resources like the Environmental Working Group’s Skin Deep database or the Think Dirty App can help savvy consumers reduce their exposure.”
Co-authors include Kimberly P. Berger, Katherine Kogut, Kimberly Parra and Brenda Eskenazi of UC Berkeley’s School of Public Health; Robert H. Lustig of the Department of Pediatrics at the University of California, San Francisco; Louise C. Greenspan of the Department of Pediatrics at Kaiser Permanente; and Antonia M. Calafat and Xiaoyun Ye of the National Center for Environmental Health, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
This research was supported by the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS) grants R21 ES024909, P01 ES009605, R01 ES017054, RC2 ES018792, R01 ES021369, and R24 ES028529 and the US Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA) grants R82670901, RD83171001, and RD83451301.
RELATED INFORMATION
Association of phthalates, parabens and phenols found in personal care products with pubertal timing in boys and girls (Human Reproduction)
CHAMACOS study website

Saundra Young of CNN wrote about toxic chemicals in ‘Putting the next generation of brains in danger.’

According to Young there are several types of chemicals which pose a danger:

The best example of this, he said, is cosmetics and phthalates. Phthalates are a group of chemicals used in hundreds of products from cosmetics, perfume, hair spray, soap and shampoos to plastic and vinyl toys, shower curtains, miniblinds, food containers and plastic wrap.
You can also find them in plastic plumbing pipes, medical tubing and fluid bags, vinyl flooring and other building materials. They are used to soften and increase the flexibility of plastic and vinyl.
In Europe, cosmetics don’t contain phthalates, but here in the United States some do.
Phthalates previously were used in pacifiers, soft rattles and teethers. But in 1999, after a push from the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, American companies stopped using them in those products.
“We certainly have the capability, it’s a matter of political will,” Landrigan said. “We have tried in this country over the last decade to pass chemical safety legislation but the chemical industry and their supporters have successfully beat back the effort.”
However, the Food and Drug Administration said two of the most common phthalates, — dibutylphthalate, or DBP, used as a plasticizer in products such as nail polishes to reduce cracking by making them less brittle, and dimethylphthalate, or DMP used in hairsprays — are now rarely used in this country.
Diethylphthalate, or DEP, used in fragrances, is the only phthalate still used in cosmetics, the FDA said.
“It’s not clear what effect, if any, phthalates have on human health,” according to the FDA’s website. “An expert panel convened from 1998 to 2000 by the National Toxicology Program (NTP), part of the National Institute for Environmental Safety and Health, concluded that reproductive risks from exposure to phthalates were minimal to negligible in most cases….” http://www.cnn.com/2014/02/14/health/chemicals-children-brains/

See, Helping to protect children from the harmful effects of chemicals http://www.who.int/ipcs/highlights/children_chemicals/en/

Children will have the most success in school, if they are ready to learn. Ready to learn includes proper nutrition for a healthy body and the optimum situation for children is a healthy family. Many of societies’ problems would be lessened if the goal was a healthy child in a healthy family.

Our goal as a society should be a healthy child in a healthy family who attends a healthy school in a healthy neighborhood. ©

Where information leads to Hope. © Dr. Wilda.com

Dr. Wilda says this about that ©

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Georgetown Institute of Reproductive Health study: Ten is not too young to talk about sex

16 Aug

It is time for some speak the truth, get down discussion. An acquaintance who practices family law told me this story about paternity. A young man left Seattle one summer to fish in Alaska. He worked on a processing boat with 30 or40 others. He had sex with this young woman. He returned to Seattle and then got a call from her saying she was pregnant. He had been raised in a responsible home and wanted to do the right thing for this child. His mother intervened and demanded a paternity test. To make a long story, short. He wasn’t the father. In the process of looking out for this kid’s interests, my acquaintance had all the men on the boat tested and none of the other “partners” was the father. Any man that doesn’t have a paternity test is a fool.

If you are a slut, doesn’t matter whether you are a male or female you probably shouldn’t be a parent.
How to tell if you are a slut?
a. If you are a woman and your sex life is like the Jack in the Box 24-hour drive through, always open and available. Girlfriend, you’re a slut.
b. If you are a guy and you have more hoes than Swiss cheese has holes. Dude, you need to get tested for just about everything and you are a slut.

Humans have free will and are allowed to choose how they want to live. What you do not have the right to do is to inflict your lifestyle on a child. So, the responsible thing for you to do is go to Planned Parenthood or some other outlet and get birth control for yourself and the society which will have to live with your poor choices. Many religious folks are shocked because I am mentioning birth control, but most sluts have few religious inklings or they wouldn’t be sluts. A better option for both sexes, if this lifestyle is a permanent option, is permanent birth control to lessen a contraception failure. People absolutely have the right to choose their particular lifestyle. You simply have no right to bring a child into your mess of a life. I observe people all the time and I have yet to observe a really happy slut. Seems that the lifestyle is devoid of true emotional connection and is empty. If you do find yourself pregnant, please consider adoption.

Let’s continue the discussion. Some folks may be great friends, homies, girlfriends, and dudes, but they make lousy parents. Could be they are at a point in their life where they are too selfish to think of anyone other than themselves, they could be busy with school, work, or whatever. No matter the reason, they are not ready and should not be parents. Birth control methods are not 100% effective, but the available options are 100% ineffective in people who are sexually active and not using birth control. So, if you are sexually active and you have not paid a visit to Planned Parenthood or some other agency, then you are not only irresponsible, you are Eeeevil. Why do I say that, you are playing Russian Roulette with the life of another human being, the child. You should not ever put yourself in the position of bringing a child into the world that you are unprepared to parent, emotionally, financially, and with a commitment of time. So, if you find yourself in a what do I do moment and are pregnant, you should consider adoption.

Science Daily reported in the article, Investing in sexual, reproductive health of 10 to 14 year olds yields lifetime benefits:

Age 10 to 14 years, a time when both girls and boys are constructing their own identities and are typically open to new ideas and influences, provides a unique narrow window of opportunity for parents, teachers, healthcare providers and others to facilitate transition into healthy teenage and adulthood years according to researchers from Georgetown University’s Institute for Reproductive Health who note the lack worldwide of programs to help children of this age navigate passage from childhood to adulthood.
An estimated 1.2 billion adolescents live in the world today — the largest number of adolescents in history. Half are between the ages of 10 and 14 — years of critical transition from child to teenager. These are the years in which puberty is experienced, bringing with it physical and other changes that may be difficult for a youngster to understand, yet set the stage for future sexual and reproductive health.
Nevertheless, the opportunity to reach very young adolescents during the very years when sexual and reproductive health behaviors lasting a lifetime are being developed is frequently missed, the Institute for Reproductive Health researchers note. They report that educators, program designers, policy-makers or others typically do not view 10 to 14 year olds as a priority because the long-term benefits and value of investing in them goes unrecognized.
In “Investing in Very Young Adolescents’ Sexual and Reproductive Health” published online in the peer-reviewed journal Global Public Health, in advance of print publication in issue 9:5-6, the Institute for Reproductive Health researchers advocate the investment of resources to lay foundations for future healthy relationships and positive sexual and reproductive health, identifying specific approaches to reach these very young adolescents. They say that programs to engage 10 to 14 year olds must be tailored to meet their unique developmental needs and take into account the important roles of parents and guardians and others who influence very young adolescents.
“Ten is not too young to help girls and boys understand their bodies and the changes that are occurring. Ten is not too young to begin to move them from ignorance to knowledge,” said Rebecka Lundgren, MPH, senior author of the paper. “We need to reach 10 to 14 year olds, often through their parents or schools, to teach them about their bodies and support development of a healthy body image and a strong sense of self worth. We also need to hear their voices — the voices of the under-heard and underserved. Ten is not too young.” Lundgren is the director of research at the Institute for Reproductive Health.
http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/07/140717095110.htm

Citation:

Investing in sexual, reproductive health of 10 to 14 year olds yields lifetime benefits

Date: July 17, 2014

Source: Institute for Reproductive Health at Georgetown University
Summary:
Globally there are over half a billion 10 to 14 year olds. Researchers report these years provide a unique narrow window of opportunity to facilitate transition into healthy teenage and adulthood and lay out ways to invest in their future sexual and reproductive health. “Ten is not too young to help girls and boys understand their bodies and the changes that are occurring. Ten is not too young to begin to move them from ignorance to knowledge,” said the senior author of the paper.

Here is the press release from Georgetown’s Institute for Reproductive Health:

Investing in sexual and reproductive health of 10 to 14 year olds yields lifetime benefits
July 17, 2014 | 11:02 am
WASHINGTON — Age 10 to 14 years, a time when both girls and boys are constructing their own identities and are typically open to new ideas and influences, provides a unique narrow window of opportunity for parents, teachers, healthcare providers and others to facilitate transition into healthy teenage and adulthood years according to researchers from Georgetown University’s Institute for Reproductive Health who note the lack worldwide of programs to help children of this age navigate passage from childhood to adulthood.
An estimated 1.2 billion adolescents live in the world today — the largest number of adolescents in history. Half are between the ages of 10 and 14 — years of critical transition from child to teenager. These are the years in which puberty is experienced, bringing with it physical and other changes that may be difficult for a youngster to understand, yet set the stage for future sexual and reproductive health.
Nevertheless, the opportunity to reach very young adolescents during the very years when sexual and reproductive health behaviors lasting a lifetime are being developed is frequently missed, the Institute for Reproductive Health researchers note. They report that educators, program designers, policy-makers or others typically do not view 10 to 14 year olds as a priority because the long-term benefits and value of investing in them goes unrecognized.
In “Investing in Very Young Adolescents’ Sexual and Reproductive Health” published online in the peer-reviewed journal Global Public Health, in advance of print publication in issue 9:5-6, the Institute for Reproductive Health researchers advocate the investment of resources to lay foundations for future healthy relationships and positive sexual and reproductive health, identifying specific approaches to reach these very young adolescents. They say that programs to engage 10 to 14 year olds must be tailored to meet their unique developmental needs and take into account the important roles of parents and guardians and others who influence very young adolescents.
“Ten is not too young to help girls and boys understand their bodies and the changes that are occurring. Ten is not too young to begin to move them from ignorance to knowledge,” said Rebecka Lundgren, MPH, senior author of the paper. “We need to reach 10 to 14 year olds, often through their parents or schools, to teach them about their bodies and support development of a healthy body image and a strong sense of self worth. We also need to hear their voices — the voices of the under-heard and underserved. Ten is not too young.” Lundgren is the director of research at the Institute for Reproductive Health.
The paper notes that preventive reproductive and sexual health services designed to suit the needs of very young adolescents are virtually non-existent in lower- and middle-income countries and that worldwide, family life education, youth centers, and youth-friendly health services with programs specifically targeted to 10 to 14 year olds rarely exist.
According to the World Health Organization and other groups, misinformation abounds about fertility (including first menstruation and ejaculation), sex, sexuality and gender identity in this age group. Very young adolescents often rely on equally uninformed peers or older siblings and the media for information.
According to Lundgren, the few existing programs for youths age 10 to 14 years typically focus on girls. “We need to expand that focus to include boys, laying a foundation for both girls and boys to learn and communicate with peers, parents, teachers and health providers as they develop positive self images and healthy practices in order to move this age group from vulnerability to empowerment.”
–Authors of the Global Public Health paper, in addition to Lundgren, are Institute consultants Susan M. Igras, MPH; Marjorie Macieira, M.A.; and Elaine Murphy, Ph.D. Support for this paper was provided by the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) under the terms of the Cooperative Agreement [No. GPO-A-00-07-00003-00]. Georgetown University’s Institute for Reproductive Health has more than 25 years of experience in designing and implementing evidence-based programs that address critical needs in sexual and reproductive health. The Institute’s areas of research and program implementation include family planning, adolescents, gender equality, fertility awareness, and mobilizing technology for reproductive health. The Institute is highly respected for its focus on the introduction and scale-up of sustainable approaches to family planning and fertility awareness around the world. For more information, visit http://www.irh.org. – See more at: http://irh.org/blog/investing-in-srh-of-vyas/#sthash.rV600uib.dpuf http://irh.org/blog/investing-in-srh-of-vyas/

Parents and guardians must have age-appropriate conversations with their children and communicate not only their values, but information about sex and the risks of sexual activity. https://drwilda.com/2012/01/22/teaching-kids-that-babies-are-not-delivered-by-ups/

Parents must be involved in the discussion of sex with their children and discuss THEIR values long before the culture has the chance to co-op the children. Moi routinely posts information about the vacuous and troubled lives of Sex and the City aficionados and troubled pop tarts like Lindsey Lohan and Paris Hilton. Kids need to know that much of the life style glamorized in the media often comes at a very high personal cost. Parents not only have the right, but the duty to communicate their values to their children.

Resources:

All about Puberty
http://kidshealth.org/kid/grow/body_stuff/puberty.html

What is Puberty for boys? http://www.eschooltoday.com/boys-and-puberty/all-about-boys-and-puberty.html

Girls and Puberty http://eschooltoday.com/girls-and-puberty/all-about-girls-and-puberty.html

Related

Puberty is coming at an earlier age https://drwilda.com/2013/10/06/puberty-is-coming-at-an-earlier-age/?relatedposts_hit=1&relatedposts_origin=455&relatedposts_position=0

Talking to your teen about risky behaviors
https://drwilda.com/2012/06/07/talking-to-your-teen-about-risky-behaviors/

Many young people don’t know they are infected with HIV
https://drwilda.com/tag/disproportionate-numbers-of-young-people-have-hiv-dont-know-it/

Dropout prevention: More schools offering daycare for students
https://drwilda.com/2013/01/14/dropout-prevention-more-schools-offering-daycare-for-students/

Title IX also mandates access to education for pregnant students
https://drwilda.com/2012/06/19/title-ix-also-mandates-access-to-education-for-pregnant-students/

Where information leads to Hope. © Dr. Wilda.com

Dr. Wilda says this about that ©

Blogs by Dr. Wilda:

COMMENTS FROM AN OLD FART© http://drwildaoldfart.wordpress.com/

Dr. Wilda Reviews © http://drwildareviews.wordpress.com/

Dr. Wilda © https://drwilda.com/

Puberty is coming at an earlier age

6 Oct

Moi wrote in Teaching kids that babies are not delivered by UPS: It is time for some speak the truth, get down discussion. An acquaintance who practices family law told me this story about paternity. A young man left Seattle one summer to fish in Alaska. He worked on a processing boat with 30 or40 others. He had sex with this young woman. He returned to Seattle and then got a call from her saying she was pregnant. He had been raised in a responsible home and wanted to do the right thing for this child. His mother intervened and demanded a paternity test. To make a long story, short. He wasn’t the father. In the process of looking out for this kid’s interests, my acquaintance had all the men on the boat tested and none of the other “partners” was the father. Any man that doesn’t have a paternity test is a fool.
If you are a slut, doesn’t matter whether you are a male or female you probably shouldn’t be a parent.
How to tell if you are a slut?
1. If you are a woman and your sex life is like the Jack in the Box 24-hour drive through, always open and available. Girlfriend, you’re a slut.
2. If you are a guy and you have more hoes than Swiss cheese has holes. Dude, you need to get tested for just about everything and you are a slut.
Humans have free will and are allowed to choose how they want to live. What you do not have the right to do is to inflict your lifestyle on a child. So, the responsible thing for you to do is go to Planned Parenthood or some other outlet and get birth control for yourself and the society which will have to live with your poor choices. Many religious folks are shocked because I am mentioning birth control, but most sluts have few religious inklings or they wouldn’t be sluts. A better option for both sexes, if this lifestyle is a permanent option, is permanent birth control to lessen a contraception failure. People absolutely have the right to choose their particular lifestyle. You simply have no right to bring a child into your mess of a life. I observe people all the time and I have yet to observe a really happy slut. Seems that the lifestyle is devoid of true emotional connection and is empty. If you do find yourself pregnant, please consider adoption.
Let’s continue the discussion. Some folks may be great friends, homies, girlfriends, and dudes, but they make lousy parents. Could be they are at a point in their life where they are too selfish to think of anyone other than themselves, they could be busy with school, work, or whatever. No matter the reason, they are not ready and should not be parents. Birth control methods are not 100% effective, but the available options are 100% ineffective in people who are sexually active and not using birth control. So, if you are sexually active and you have not paid a visit to Planned Parenthood or some other agency, then you are not only irresponsible, you are Eeeevil. Why do I say that, you are playing Russian Roulette with the life of another human being, the child. You should not ever put yourself in the position of bringing a child into the world that you are unprepared to parent, emotionally, financially, and with a commitment of time. So, if you find yourself in a what do I do moment and are pregnant, you should consider adoption.
Why the rant? Live Science reports in the article, 1 in 6 Teen Moms Say They Didn’t Believe They Could Get Pregnant http://news.yahoo.com/1-6-teen-moms-didnt-believe-could-pregnant-202403188.html

Parents and guardians must have age-appropriate conversations with their children and communicate not only their values, but information about sex and the risks of sexual activity. https://drwilda.com/2012/01/22/teaching-kids-that-babies-are-not-delivered-by-ups/

Donisha Dansby reported in the NPR article, Puberty Is Coming Earlier, But That Doesn’t Mean Sex Ed Is:
‘Fifth Grade Is Way Too Late’

Dr. Louise Greenspan, a pediatric endocrinologist with Kaiser Permanente in San Francisco who is studying the causes and effects of early puberty, agrees. “I really feel like I’m on a mission now to make sure that people understand that teaching kids about puberty in fifth grade is way too late,” she says.

To be clear, Greenspan is not saying little kids should be learning about sex in school. Instead, she says they should get the message that being physically mature doesn’t mean they’re ready for adult relationships.

Greenspan also notes that kids who start puberty early don’t necessarily have a medical problem.

“But is it a disorder, as in, there’s something wrong with our environment or there’s something wrong with what’s happening in the world? Maybe,” she says. “Something’s changed. So the girls don’t have a disorder — but maybe our world does.”

Last spring, on the playground at San Francisco’s Flynn Elementary, fifth-grade students Mila and Isabel talked about the puberty class they were about to start. “I feel like it’s important to learn, but it’s sort of, like, an awkward lesson,” Isabel says.

So why don’t kids want to talk to their parents about periods and the other changes they’re experiencing?

“It’s just one of those kinds of things you don’t want to talk to your mom about,” Mila says. “It’s like boyfriends. You don’t want to talk to your mom about your boyfriend.”

“Because then they might be like, ‘Oh, my God, you’re growing up!’ ” Isabel adds.

But kids are growing up — often way before they even hear the word “puberty” in class.
http://www.npr.org/2013/10/01/226116537/pubertys-coming-earlier-but-that-doesnt-mean-sex-ed-is

Christian Nordqvist wrote What Is Puberty? What Is Early Puberty? What Is Late Puberty?

According to Nordqvist;

A study by the American Academy of Pediatrics and published in the October 2012 issue of Pediatrics, reported that American boys are reaching puberty between six months and two years earlier than a few decades ago. Doctors had already reported that girls were reaching puberty earlier.
What is the difference between male and female puberty?
• Girls start puberty about one to two years earlier than boys.
• Girls’ generally complete puberty in a shorter time than boys.
• Girls reach adult height and reproductive maturity approximately 4 years after the physical changes of puberty appear.
• Boys continue to grow for about 6 years after the first visible changes of puberty.
• A girl’s puberty general spans from the ages of 9 to 14.
• A boy’s puberty generally spans from the ages of 10 to 17. Experts say this longer span is probably why adult males are generally taller than adult females.
• Testosterone and androgen are the main male sex steroids. Testosterone produces all male changes related to virilization, such as a deepened voice, facial hair and the development of muscles. Estradiol also plays a role in male development, but much more in female development.
• Estrogen and estradiol are the main hormones that drive female development. Estradiol promotes the growth of the uterus and breasts. Levels of estradiol rise earlier in girls than in boys, and also reach higher levels in women than in men. Testosterone is also involved in female development, but to a much smaller degree, compared to male development.
What happens during a girl’s puberty?
• Sexual organs – the girl’s clitoris (a small and sensitive part of the female genitals which is part of the vulva) and the uterus (womb) will grow.
• Menstruation begins – one of the first things that happens during a girl’s puberty is the start of her monthly menstrual cycle. When periods start it means that the girl is becoming a woman and she can become pregnant.
• Breast changes – the girl’s breast will start to grow. A small and sometimes painful lump may be felt just below the nipple when her breasts start to develop – this is normal.
• Vaginal discharge – vaginal discharge may start or change.
• Body hair – hair will begin to grow in her pubic area – firstly along the labia (the lips that are part of the external female sexual organs, known as the vulva), and then under her arms and on her legs.
• Skin – as the girl’s oil and sweat glands grow her skin will become more oily and she will sweat more. During puberty it is helpful to teach girls about daily washing, and the use of deodorants. Acne is common among girls during puberty.
• Body shape and size – a girl’s body changes during puberty. Her hips will widen and her waist will be proportionally smaller. Extra fat will develop on her stomach and buttocks. Girls should not worry about this extra fat – they are part of normal female development and do not mean the girl is getting fat. Her arms, legs, hands and feet will grow – often faster than other parts of her body. It is not unusual for some girls to feel uncomfortable during this stage of development.
• Emotions – a girl’s emotions may change, especially around the time her period comes each month. These emotional roller-coaster type changes, which may include irritability, are mainly due to fluctuating hormone levels that occur during the menstrual cycle. If a girl finds her emotional changes become too strong she should consider talking to her doctor – she may be experiencing premenstrual syndrome (PMS) or premenstrual tension (PMT). Health care professionals may be able to help either by prescribing medication or suggesting lifestyle changes. Emotional changes, including PMS are often relieved if the girl takes up regular physical exercise. It may help if the girl can talk to her mother, an older sibling, or another woman about the physical and emotional changes that occur during puberty.
What happens during a boy’s puberty?
• Scrotum, testicles and penis – the boy’s scrotum will begin to thin and redden and his testicles will grow. Later, usually around the age of 13 (this can vary) his penis will grow and lengthen while the testicles will continue to grow.
• Voice change – as the voice box (larynx) gets bigger and the muscles or vocal cords grow, the boy’s voice will “break” or “crack”. This is normal. Eventually the boy’s voice will become deeper.
• Wet dreams – boys may ejaculate during their sleep and wake up in the morning with damp sheets and pajamas. This does not mean the boy was having a sexual dream. It is important that his loved ones explain to him that they understand that he cannot prevent them from happening. Wet dreams are just part of growing up.
• Involuntary erections – during puberty boys will have spontaneous erections. These will occur without the penis being touched and without sexual thoughts triggering them. These may be embarrassing if they happen in public. This is a natural part of growing up.
• Breast enlargement – swelling of the breasts occurs with many boys during puberty. The boy may feel a bump under one or both nipples – they may feel tender, and sometimes painful. Eventually the swelling and pain will disappear. This is called pubertal gynecomastia and occurs because of hormonal changes during puberty.
• Skin – the boy’s skin will become more oily during puberty. He will also sweat much more. During puberty a boy’s oil and sweat glands are growing. During puberty it is helpful to teach boys about daily washing to keep the skin clean, and the use of deodorants. It is not uncommon for boys to develop acne during puberty.
• Body size – growth spurts occur during a boy’s puberty. This growth peaks at about two years after the onset of puberty. His arms, legs, hands and feet may grow faster than other parts of the body. During this time the boy may feel clumsier than usual. During puberty a boy’s total body fat content will start to drop proportionally to his total mass.
• Body hair – hair will start to grow around the pubic area, under his arms, on his legs and arms, and on his face. Facial hair usually starts around the upper lip and chin. This can be shaved off with a razor. Sometimes shaving can cause a rash, especially if the boy has sensitive skin. Using a shaving foam or gel may reduce the chances of getting a rash. Electric razors are less likely to cause cuts.
• Emotions – boys may experience mood swings; one moment they are laughing and then they suddenly feel like crying. Boys may also experience intense feelings of anger. This is partly due to the increased levels of hormones in their body, as well as the psychological aspects of coming to terms with all the physical changes that are taking place. It helps if the boy can talk to a family member, or a good friend. A US study revealed that teenage mood swings may be explained by biological changes in the adolescent brain.
What causes puberty?
• Genes – experts say that puberty starts with a single gene called KiSS1. This gene is present in our bodies at birth and produces another gene called GPR54. GPR54 lies dormant in the body for many years until kisspeptin – chemicals produced by the KiSS1 gene – activate it. Activated GPR54 stimulates the brain to produce GnRH (gonadotropin-releasing hormone) – a powerful hormone. GnRH causes other glands in the body, such as the testes in boys and ovaries in girls to release other hormones.
• Hormones – the testes produce testosterone which encourages the development of the testicles and penis, muscle growth, hair growth, and the deepening of the male voice. The female ovaries also produce testosterone, in much smaller amounts – and it is used to help maintain muscle mass and bone strength. The ovaries produce estradiol which stimulates breast growth, the female reproductive system, as well as regulating the monthly menstrual cycle.
• Triggers of puberty – experts believe environmental and/or genetic factors trigger puberty – even environmental toxins. Nutritional factors are also important, especially for girls. Overweight or obese girls tend to experience earlier puberty, compared to girls of normal weight, while underweight girls tend to start puberty later. Puberty among girls in North America, Western Europe, and several other countries is occurring at an earlier age probably because a higher percentage of them are overweight/obese than before. US scientists have shown that even being overweight as a toddler increases the chance that a girl will reach puberty early. Scientists are not sure whether the timing of puberty is affected by bodyweight in boys.
Diagnosing early or late puberty
A child should only visit a GP regarding his/her puberty if it starts unusually early or late. No signs of breast development by the age of 14 would be an indication of late puberty for girls – or if her breasts have developed but she has had not had a menstrual period by the age of 16. A lack of testicular development by the age of 14 would indicate late puberty for boys – also, if the penis and testicles have not yet reached full adult development since the beginning of puberty. http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/156451.php

Parents must be involved in the discussion of sex with their children and discuss THEIR values long before the culture has the chance to co-op the children. Moi routinely posts information about the vacuous and troubled lives of Sex and the City aficionados and troubled pop tarts like Lindsey Lohan and Paris Hilton. Kids need to know that much of the life style glamorized in the media often comes at a very high personal cost. Parents not only have the right, but the duty to communicate their values to their children.

Resources:
All about Puberty http://kidshealth.org/kid/grow/body_stuff/puberty.html

What is Puberty for boys? http://www.eschooltoday.com/boys-and-puberty/all-about-boys-and-puberty.html

Girls and Puberty http://eschooltoday.com/girls-and-puberty/all-about-girls-and-puberty.html

Related:

Talking to your teen about risky behaviors https://drwilda.com/2012/06/07/talking-to-your-teen-about-risky-behaviors/

Many young people don’t know they are infected with HIV https://drwilda.com/tag/disproportionate-numbers-of-young-people-have-hiv-dont-know-it/

Dropout prevention: More schools offering daycare for students https://drwilda.com/2013/01/14/dropout-prevention-more-schools-offering-daycare-for-students/

Title IX also mandates access to education for pregnant students https://drwilda.com/2012/06/19/title-ix-also-mandates-access-to-education-for-pregnant-students/

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