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Home > Feature Articles > Health and Well Being Strategies

Girls Develop Into Women Earlier and Earlier -- What's Causing It?

Population explosion is affecting global warming and food and health care are affecting maturation speed. The tipping point is turning negative.

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Hearts and health Population escalation is both a cause and effect of environmental changes. Because of more food and less disease, we are witnessing dramatic changes in health -- and nowhere more compelling than in women's reproductive role.

As girls become women, they have children. And as they become women earlier, they have more children before they have stable family situations. That has resulted in more out-of-wedlock births -- estimated at almost 50% of American births. And it affects education of women. And educational opportunities for the next generation.

And more people causes more global use of resources...and more global climate change. We are overpopulating the world's limited supply of resources.

What is causing the dramatic changes in girls' sexual maturation? And is it an issue of concern to environmentalist in business?

Women's Health and Our Environment

AT 8 or 9 years old, the typical American schoolgirl is perfecting her cursive handwriting style. She's picking out nouns, verbs, adjectives and adverbs in sentences, memorizing multiplication tables and learning to read a thermometer.

She's a little girl with a lot to learn.

And yet, in increasing numbers, when girls this age run across the playground in T-shirts, there is undeniable evidence that their bodies are blossoming. The first visible sign of puberty, breast budding, is arriving ever earlier in American girls. LA Times

Adequate food and good health signal the brain that it's safe to reproduce, according to theories of evolutionary biology. "We're healthier and we weigh more," says Dr. Francine Kaufman, head of the center for diabetes and endocrinology at Childrens Hospital. "In some ways, puberty is a luxury."

With the brain picking up these signals, the hormonal parade can begin.

However, the finely tuned biological process may have reached a tipping point.

Since the 1960s, Herman-Giddens says, the decline in the age of maturity has crossed the line from positive reasons, such as better diet, to negative ones, such as eating too much, exercising too little and the vast unknowns of chemical pollution.

But the first two events are happening significantly earlier in the lives of today's girls than they did in the lives of their mothers and grandmothers. Today, the U.S. average for first period is 12.5 for white girls, 12.06 for black girls and 12.09 for Latinas.

READ THE DETAILS: Los Angeles Times



Edited by Carolyn Allen, owner/editor of California Green Solutions
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