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Average Age of Puberty Getting Younger

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Other excellent resources about avoiding toxins during pregnancy

These are easy to read and understand and are beautifully presented.

Date: Mon, 7 Apr 1997 15:53:16 -0700 (PDT)
Subject: AB: (fwd) Study: U.S. girls begin puberty earlier (fwd)
UPI Science News

CHICAGO, April 7 (UPI) -- A study says U.S. girls are showing signs of puberty at a younger age, a finding that could raise questions about when to start sex education.

The study based on data from 17,000 children found pubescent development in 6.7 percent of white girls and 27.2 percent of black girls between 7 and 8 years old. Between ages 8 and 9, signs were evident in 14.7 percent of whites and 48.3 percent of blacks.

A common medical view is that less than 1 percent of girls under 8 enter puberty.

The study was conducted by 225 pediatricians nationwide for the research arm of the American Academy of Pediatrics, based in suburban Elk Grove Village. Data came from the girls' doctor visits.

The findings were outlined Monday in the latest issue of the journal Pediatrics.

The doctors wrote, "Our study found that girls seen in pediatric office practices are developing pubertal characteristics at younger ages than suggested in standard pediatric textbooks."

Pubertal characteristics include pubic hair and breasts. The study does not question the age at which menstruation begins -- 12.5 years -- which has held steady among U.S. girls for 40 years.

The authors said the new data could prompt schools to consider offering sex education in lower grades and could signal a need for pediatricians to consider race when treating young girls.

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