Young Fatherless Girls Hit Puberty Early?  It’s Not a Stretch.

Young Fatherless Girls Hit Puberty Early? It’s Not a Stretch.

Young, fatherless girls hit puberty early, study indicates.

Author : Christelyn Karazin

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Christelyn is married with four children.

I just ran across this New Zealand study in which a scientist is trying to determine a correlation between absent fathers and girls entering early puberty.  This is interesting.  And sad.  I’m not an M.D. or PhD, but I’m a health writer and a mother of three girls and one boy.  I know how every day stress can raise cortisol and other hormones that can kick in to “mature” human beings as a matter of survival.  Two of my girls were born premature and had to be hospitalized in the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) for over a month.  Studies already prove that premature babies hormones’ kick in to full drive when born too soon, because of the level of physical stress from the anticipation of being ripped from their mother’s wombs before they are due.

Why wouldn’t having a father around have a similar effect?

With a rudimentary knowledge of medicine and common sense, it’s not hard to make that hypothesis.  This is purely anecdotal, but I have a relative who never knew her father.  She started her period at nine years old.  Nine. Years. Old.

“The reason behind this phenomenon needs to be further investigated. However, there are a fewhypotheses: The increased stress placed on the family, and ultimately, the quickly-maturing girls are likely to be elevating numerous stress and sex hormones. Furthermore, children raised in single parented homes are likely to take on more responsibility at younger ages. This too may account for triggering puberty at an earlier onset in girls living in absent-father homes as an adaptation to their environment, ” says Gary Carpenter, M.D., internal medicine resident at Winthrop University Hospital.

There you have it.

Original post appeared on “Family Scholars” the offical blog for The Institute for American Values.

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