To quote the documentary: “Girls are getting breasts 1 year earlier than 20 years ago.” “No one knows why this is happening. This is cause for action.”
This has been observed and studied by researchers who do not understand and cannot put their finger on why it’s happening. This meets the definition of phenomenon.
So what’s the big deal? Girls have been entering puberty early, at age 9, for years. My own mother-in-law experienced her first period at age 9 in 1936. So, this is nothing new, right?
Right. And, WRONG!
Sure, it’s true that 20, 40, 80 years ago some girls entered puberty earlier than the norm. But, it was a rare occurrence.
Not so these days.
Today it’s not unusual to see signs of early puberty in girls age 7 – or younger.
A number of causes are suspected: could obesity and exposure to environmental contaminants, for instance, be to blame? The physical, psychological and psychosocial repercussions on young girls results in a disconnect between their physical and emotional maturity. Far from being a marginal issue, early-onset puberty is fast becoming a worldwide public health concern. (Read more.)
If the above quote was a bit much to grasp fully, consider the quotes below. They were taken from the documentary – from the lips of young women who entered puberty early, who developed a woman’s body in 3rd and 4th grades and their struggle to find normal in a body they didn’t understand or want.
You realize you have to grow up. There’s nothing you can do.
…like a stroke of bad luck…too soon…wasn’t ready yet…psychologically or physically…wanted to be at the same stage as the other girls in my school.
I didn’t want it. …inconceivable for me not to be normal. At that age you just want to be normal. You want to be accepted. …just further proof that I wasn’t normal. I thought I would be even more of an outcast if people found out. You want it to STOP.
In grade 4…it’s just not fair!
I was the biggest outcast because I looked older and because I was curvier than everybody else. They would insult me for not being like them. Basically, I was as much of a child as they were. I had the same interests, watched the same shows, did exactly the same things. Just because my body had changed didn’t mean that I had changed as a person.
Given that I didn’t have a child’s body, I ended up maturing a little faster, too.
Unfortunately, I think my childhood went by too quickly….
It’s important to understand that girls who enter puberty early face many obstacles – relational, physical, psychological, emotional, sexual.
The body is ready but the head is not. Physically their bodies are ready for sexual experiences. The urges and curiosity are there. But, psychologically they are not ready because they are still little girls. They are naive…seek approval…are too eager to please…easily manipulated…too often used…abused.
Watch the documentary. Please. For the sake of every girl who is and who will be impacted by early puberty.
It’s FREE only for this weekend.
Have you known girls who started puberty quite young? What challenges did they face?
Have you ever treated a girl based on the age you felt she looked rather than by her chronological age?