American Girls Maturing Too Fast Essay

American Girls Maturing Too Fast Essay

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The idea of an entire generation maturing faster once had a strong structure of doubters. In fact, one of the first studies to warn of earlier puberty in American girls was published in 1997. Skeptics who complained about the study in the pediatric journal said, "many of us in the field of pediatric endocrinology believe that it is premature to conclude that the normal age of puberty is occurring earlier" ("Early Arrival"). Today, it appears that a majority of doctors are coming around to the idea. Many scientist and doctors believe that younger puberty is a consequence of an epidemic of childhood obesity. However, there are other possibilities of the cause of younger puberty, including the presence of environmental chemicals that may mimic the properties of estrogen, and social and psychological stressors that may alter the hormonal makeup of a young body.
Puberty is the period of sexual maturation and achievement of fertility, it is a process that usually happens between the ages of ten and fourteen for young adult females. While young adult males puberty ranges between the ages of twelve and sixteen. Puberty causes physical changes, while affecting boys and girls differently ("Puberty: MedlinePlus"). Puberty is a multiyear process that has no clearly defined beginning or endpoint. Dr. Kaplowitz, author of Early Puberty In Girls: The Essential Guide To Coping With This Common Problem, defines puberty in young girls as, "The onset of breast development. And that's a common misconception. Pubic hair is a different hormone than breast development. So we really date puberty from when breast development starts to progress," ("Current Events"). The puberty trend for young adult boys isn't as clear as it is for girls. Though, recent...

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...evels to raise dramatically in humans. The final area of investigation into early puberty is the influence of a girl's physical, social and emotional surroundings. A wide body of research supports the idea that an undercurrent of stress in early life affects timing in puberty, probably by activating hormonal responses to danger ("Early Arrival"). Some studies show that the stress of being raised in a single-parent household might lead to early puberty.
Obesity, pollutants, and stress are all common factors that affect the puberty rate in America. With the presence of environmental chemicals that mimic the properties of estrogen, and social and psychological stressors in fact does alter the hormonal makeup of a young body. It's scary to think that in future generations more and more young adults would start puberty at a much younger age than todays generations.

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