Boys are Starting Puberty Almost Two Years Earlier than Expected

October 23, 2012

Biology

boy-shaving

Photo: Thinkstock/Digital Vision

Currently, there is a scientific consensus that females are hitting puberty earlier than before, developing breasts as young as 7 or 8. Scientists believe childhood obesity, since body fat is linked to the production of estrogen, and chemicals in the water and food supply are the likely culprits and wondered if the same trend is affecting males.

The scientists published their findings in the Journal of Pediatrics. The scientists focused on testicle size. Conventionally, boys hit puberty at 11.5 years old. The researchers looked at the records of 4,131 boys aged 6 to 16 in 41 states in the USA. This data was compiled from 2005 to 2010.

kids-texting

Pre-teen boys texting. Image: ThinkStock

The researchers discovered that on average, boys were starting puberty almost two years earlier than previously. White and Hispanic boys started puberty at 10 years of age, 1.5 years earlier than the national average. African-American boys started puberty at 9 years old. Roughly 9% of Caucasians experienced enlarged testes as early as 6. For Hispanics, it was 7% and for African-Americans, it was nearly 20%. All groups started pubic hair growth a year after the testes enlarged.

While this study wasn’t focused on determining an underlying cause, childhood inactivity, environmental factors and changes in diet are all possible factors. This could mean that sex education should start earlier, because children are entering puberty a lot sooner.

[via The Week]

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2 Responses to “Boys are Starting Puberty Almost Two Years Earlier than Expected”

  1. Ryszard Byrka Says:

    This seems to be a move in a proper direction. I think, now is the right time to start the talk about the optimum development (specially intellectual), based on the endocrinological background.

    Reply

  2. Madanagopal.V.C. Says:

    And so are girls! It is all in the high calorie food intake indeed by the present generation which starts hormones at a very early stage.Thank You.

    Reply

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