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Goodbye, Girls
05-21-2008, 02:13 AM,
Goodbye, Girls
Goodbye, Girls: The Falling Age of Puberty

Goodbye, girls

Researcher ponders why U.S. kids reach puberty at an ever-younger age

If historical statistics are any guide, the average girl in northern
Europe in the 1830s entered puberty - defined by menarche, or the onset
of menstruation - at approximately 17 years of age. Today, chances are
that her American counterpart will have her first period at about 12
a half.

Other signs of sexual maturity also are appearing sooner. Half of all
girls in the U.S. show breast development by their 10th birthday, 14
percent by the time they're 9.

The acceleration is so pronounced that in 1999 American pediatricians
redefined the threshold of "normal," scaling it back to 8 for white
girls and 7 for black girls (who tend to reach puberty significantly

This relentless erosion of girlhood - echoed across the more affluent
nations of the world - is tripping alarm bells for researchers,
environmentalists and parents.

First, girls who hit puberty sooner are more likely to wind up with a
long list of health and social problems.

Second, it raises the unpleasant possibility that something sinister in
our environment may be sabotaging the complex hormonal system that
governs sexual development.

Biologist and author Sandra Steingraber, an interdisciplinary scholar
Ithaca College in upstate New York, spent a year reviewing the
scientific literature on the subject.

According to Steingraber, the main forces driving the acceleration of
puberty are obesity and premature birth. But she remains convinced that
environmental exposure to chemicals, particularly endocrine disruptors,
also may play a significant role.

Steingraber, whose report, "The Falling Age of Puberty in U.S. Girls,"
was published last year by the Breast Cancer Fund, will be discussing
her research this month at a lecture sponsored by the Oregon
Environmental Council.

At-risk behavior increases

Early puberty has received a lot of attention from medical researchers
because it has been identified as a risk factor for breast cancer. But
as she delved into the subject, Steingraber found that girls who enter
puberty early also are more likely to smoke, drink, abuse drugs, and
have sex at a younger age.

"Almost everything bad that could happen to a teenage girl happens more
often, and more intensely, to girls who enter puberty prematurely," she
said. "Basically, the modern world is not a good place to be an
early-maturing girl."

All of which is somewhat surprising because, biologically speaking,
early puberty could be considered an auspicious omen. In fact, the
timing of sexual maturity among most mammal species is elastic, and
tends to be delayed by disease, malnutrition and stress.

From an evolutionary standpoint, this makes sense: There's not much
point in an organism gearing up for fertility, with its mischievous
handmaidens, mating, pregnancy and birth, if the environmental outlook
is grim.

Thus early puberty implies that a girl is thriving. Indeed, the most
dramatic advance in the age of menarche seems to have taken place
1970, a change Steingraber and most other researchers attribute to
better nutrition and less disease.

But while the march of menarche has slowed (it now creeps forward at
rate of roughly two months per decade), the other signs of sexual
maturity continue to arrive fast and furious.

White girls in America now begin breast development, on average, a full
year earlier than was reported in 1969; black girls, a full two years

"There is definitely a trend toward earlier puberty," says Dr. Bruce
Boston, a pediatric endocrinologist at Oregon Health and Science

This perplexing phenomenon has led many researchers to suggest that
other factors are at work, including chemical exposure, growth hormones
in milk or meat, formula feeding, absent fathers, and even the
sexual imagery in American culture.

Theories run the gamut

In her study, Steingraber methodically sifts through the evidence for
each theory. Some are easy to dismiss. Sure, teenage girls on the
prairie couldn't sit back and watch "Sex and the City," but there is no
evidence that sexual imagery awakens puberty, and no hormonal mechanism
for it, either.

Blaming derelict dads may sound outlandish, but it does have a
scientific basis: Absence of the biological father is associated with
early puberty in several mammal species.

However, it is not clear that fathers are statistically absent more
often today than in the past: War and disease orphaned many girls in
19th century, not to mention long periods of separation demanded by
farming, hunting, fishing and so on.

Perhaps more surprising, Steingraber finds little reason to pin the
blame on growth hormones in milk.

The American dairy industry began using recombinant bovine growth
hormone (rBGH) to boost milk production in 1993 (though virtually all
Oregon dairies shun it) but puberty has been advancing long before

In addition, American children typically drink less milk than they did
in ages past.

"While there are important objections to the routine use of growth
hormones by dairy farmers, the potential for rBGH to lower the average
age of puberty is probably not among them," Steingraber concludes.

In other words, you can boycott supercharged cows, but don't blame them
for hordes of third-grade girls brandishing bras.

Pounds may push puberty

In fact, the most persuasive explanation is America's obesity epidemic,
which plays a central role in the mystery, according to Steingraber.

Obesity rates have tripled in the last 30 years; approximately 19
percent of children ages 6 to 11 now are overweight. This contributes
early puberty because body fat tends to generate the hormones that
trigger breast development.

This theory also fits the ethnic disparities of early puberty: black
girls are more likely than white girls to be overweight, which may
explain their earlier breast budding.

At the same time, higher rates of premature birth - 12 percent of U.S.
births now take place before 37 weeks of gestation - also contribute to
early puberty, because smaller newborn girls are more likely to suffer
from impaired adrenal function later in life.

But it is far from clear that obesity and premature birth are the only
villains in this story. Steingraber believes that chemical exposure
may play a role.

Chemical chaos

In 1973, approximately 4,000 Michigan residents were accidentally
exposed to a flame retardant (polybrominated biphenyl or PBB) that was
inadvertently mixed into cattle feed.

The daughters of pregnant or nursing mothers with high levels of PBBs
subsequently entered puberty at 11.6 years old, more than a year
than those with low levels, according to a 2000 study published by HM
Blanck in the medical journal Epidemiology.

Several studies suggest that girls whose mothers were exposed to high
levels of pesticides, particularly the banned pesticide DDT, show signs
of accelerated puberty.

While those episodes suggest that environmental contamination can and
does accelerate puberty, it remains unclear how often this actually

Last month, however, the Canadian government banned baby bottles
containing the polycarbonate additive bisphenol-A, citing concerns that
exposure to tiny quantities of the chemical can disrupt the body's
endocrine system and stimulate breast tumors in petri dishes, although
no studies have been made of their effects on humans.

OHSU endocrinologist Boston says that test-tube experiments aren't
always relevant to human beings, but agrees that the trend toward
earlier puberty remains a mystery.

"We don't have all the answers," he said.

What is the bottom line here? Paradoxically, Steingraber believes that
identifying the environmental factors behind early puberty is cause for
optimism because it implies there is something we can do about it.

"The good news is that if we feed our kids in a healthy way, get them
and keep them active, we can solve a whole bunch of problems, from
obesity to early puberty to self-esteem," she says. "I think we have a
moral obligation to do that."


To download Sandra Steingraber's report, "The Falling Age of Puberty in
U.S. Girls," go to

Unite The Many, defeat the few.

Revolution is for the love of your people, culture, knowledge, wisdom, spirit, and peace. Not Greed!
Soul Rebel Native Son
05-21-2008, 02:44 AM,
Goodbye, Girls
If they mature quicker, they will also age quicker. Thats not good for them.
[Image: Palestinian_Dawn_by_Palestinian_Pride.jpg]
05-21-2008, 02:50 AM,
Goodbye, Girls
At least the Canadian government has banned the xenoestrogen Bisphenol A.

Now it's time for the rest of the world to follow suit.
[Image: randquote.png]
05-21-2008, 03:14 AM,
Goodbye, Girls
If you destroy the social fabric of female structure - you can off balance a natural occurrence of a society - Like in china - there is no balance there and although they have an ancient philosophy of yin yang of maintaining balance, it is danger because they want to to be like the united steaks - but there is a danger the have missed - basically they have forsaken their ancient philosophy which has kept china intact - soon they will breed with African, Europeans because they are closer and so on. You can't with females or a society will die - Now, this is one thing the secret bacteria aka New fuked up order is perpetrating - with gays and lesbians and all the drama to get of topic and actually conduct social warfare amongst the people through self genocide or virus genocide...but its dangerous because nature has already been programmed - but yet you get some damn christian or wicked ideology that it thanks its better than nature - Nature is the creator - and yet they just dont get it .. fuk with the earth and it will fuk back against you - but who gets hurt - the unsuspecting and the elite as well but like in 911 - some zionist jews got the word not to go to work on that day.....strange eh
Unite The Many, defeat the few.

Revolution is for the love of your people, culture, knowledge, wisdom, spirit, and peace. Not Greed!
Soul Rebel Native Son
05-21-2008, 04:32 AM,
Goodbye, Girls
Altered Chicken?

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