Fact: girls are starting puberty earlier. Breast development for instance, is occurring earlier and earlier and isn’t all the uncommon amongst 7-year olds. According to the most recent U.S. data (from 2013), 23 percent of black girls, 15 percent of Hispanic girls and 10 percent of white girls have started to develop breasts by the age of seven.
However, the age at which girls start to menstruate has begun on average only three months earlier compared with decades past. That means puberty not only begins earlier but lasts longer than before. This longer exposure to estrogen causes some alarm, since this could possible increase the risk of breast cancer, but the biggest issues are psychological.
The big question, then, is what’s causing this. Why are girls starting puberty earlier? [Read more…]