Like Girls, American Boys Reaching Puberty Earlie
Research has shown young girls in the United States have been reaching puberty earlier than they used to and now the same appears to be true for boys. According to a study conducted by the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), boys are entering puberty between six months and two years earlier than boys in past generations.
The study, published in Pediatrics, included data from more than 4,000 boys between the ages of 6 and 16. The boys were of different races and came from 41 states where statistics were collected from just under 150 pediatric offices.
Doctors observed patterns in genital development, testicle formation and pubic hair growth, finding African American boys were more likely to reach puberty early (at 9.14 years) when compared to white boys (10.14 years) or Hispanic boys (10.4 years).
The study does not point out any single cause for the early onset of puberty, but researchers mention it could be a combination of modern diet, lack of physical exercise, and a variety of environmental factors including pollution, contaminates in water, and the ingestion of plastic – which has been found to mimic hormones like estrogen in the human body.
Researchers said the public health implications of premature puberty in boys remain unclear and called for more research on the matter in a variety of medical fields.