You probably heard back in the spring about early puberty in girls being more common–and about how a lot of people were freaking out about it: “Why is it happening?! What can we do to stop it?! What does it all mean?!”
Well, you can console yourself with the fact that early puberty isn’t just for us (you know, the way our ever-delightful periods are). Early puberty in boys is making headlines now because it turns out our brothers and boyfriends are going through the same thing.
Studies suggest that guys are reaching puberty around six months to two years earlier than the generation before theirs did. At first, experts thought early puberty in girls may be caused by chemicals in the environment that are a lot like estrogen (the hormone that gives us boobs and the ability to make babies), but now they’re questioning that theory. Why? Because while estrogen and its sister chemicals would speed up our development, it would actually slow down puberty in boys.
Why do docs think it’s a problem? One of them explained, “Now there’s probably a bigger disparity between their physical maturation and their psychosocial maturation.” Basically, experts are worried that if guys develop physically earlier, they may not mature emotionally, mentally, or socially enough to keep up, and that people will interact with them as if they’re older. Call us nuts, but ask any girl between the ages of 12 and like, 35, and she’ll be able to tell you this crap has been going on for years. Now there’s just a scientific study behind it!
We think the solution to all of this is pretty simple: Instead of publicly freaking out about early puberty in boys and girls, why don’t we ease up on the reports until we do a whole lot of research on why it’s happening and have a definitive answer? Panicking about puberty is only going to make it a lot more difficult to everyone going through it–and let’s face it, between awkwardness and acne, it’s no picnic to begin with.
Do you think early puberty in boys is a big deal? Do you think dwelling on early puberty in boys will freak boys out? What do you think causes early puberty in boys? Tell us in the comments!