Menacing Makeup?

Mounting evidence indicates that girls in the United States are undergoing puberty at earlier ages now than ever before. One study conducted earlier this year by Dr. Frank M. Biro, Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center’s Director of Adolescent Medicine, found that the proportion of Caucasian girls from the ages of 7 to 8 who experienced precocious puberty was greater today than as recently as the last decade. Assessment methods mainly relied on looking at breast and pubic hair development within study participants. While the African American and Hispanic girls who were examined were shown on average to still develop faster than other groups, as was shown in a previous study conducted in 1997, Caucasian girls faced the greatest rise in rates of early puberty.

While some researchers have strived to explain these growing trends of precocious puberty by pointing to changing socioeconomic conditions or dietary habits, it has become increasingly clear that such factors cannot sufficiently account for the alarming rise of American girls experiencing puberty at markedly earlier ages. More recent studies indicate that analysis of variations in exposure to environmental toxins better predicts differences in the rates of early puberty…

Read full article originally published in Columbia Science Review

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