Study: Girls reach sexual maturity earlier and earlier

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Girls become sexually mature earlier and earlier: Before girls reach the age of ten, puberty occurs.

(15.06.2010) Alarming results from the University Clinic in Copenhagen: Girls are becoming sexually mature earlier and earlier, the exact causes have not yet been clarified. According to the authors of a Danish study, the early sexual maturity is becoming increasingly psychologically overwhelming for girls.

According to a study by the Copenhagen University Hospital, more and more girls enter puberty before they have reached the age of ten. The development of the female breast would start on average a year earlier than in 1991. For study leader Anders Juul this is a clear sign that the development of children is influenced by external factors. It is still unclear what factors it could be. This could include the increasingly unhealthy diet, chemicals in the environment and food, or lack of physical activity.

With early puberty, children are mentally overwhelmed.
The early development of girls is alarming, say the scientists. At this age, the children are mentally overwhelmed with early sexual development. Early development is also very likely to be detrimental to health, since early estrogen hormone production increases the risk of developing breast cancer or cardiovascular diseases later on.

According to the German Research Institute for Nutrition, the age of girls in Northern Europe when their first menstrual bleeding began between 1850 and 1960 had fallen by three years. However, based on these figures, the institute assumes that better and improved living conditions are reflected.

Causes of Early Puberty.
However, the exact causes for this development are still unclear. The School of Pharmacy and Biomolecular Sciences at the University of Brighton also published a study in this context. This long-term study examined the relationship between diet and early sexual maturity. It turned out that a high consumption of meat promoted the early onset of the first menstrual period in girls. The Danish study authors also see a possible connection between high meat consumption and early puberty. "Our studies were able to show the influence of protein consumption on the onset of puberty."

But it is not just diet that could influence early sexual maturity. The Danish researchers see a possible connection with chemicals. The scientists suspect that the widely used and controversial chemical "bisphenol-A" also contributes to early menstruation. Bisphenol-A works similarly to the female sex hormone estrogen. But it is difficult to establish a real connection because people are exposed to many different chemicals in the course of their lives. (sb)

Also read:
Early maturity due to a lot of meat
Lower limit values ​​for pesticides in food
Federal Environment Agency warns of the chemical bisphenol A.

Photo credit: Rainer Sturm /

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Video: Female Reproductive System - Menstrual Cycle, Hormones and Regulation


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