Early Puberty Affecting our Classrooms?
April 03, 2012, 10:03 amThis weekend the New York Times published an article in their magazine stating that the average age of puberty for white girls is 9.96 (almost 10 years old) and for black girls is even younger: 8.87 (less than 9 years old!). I wish that I could say that I was shocked by these figures, but as a former 3rd grade teachers in a predominantly black community I had noticed the same thing happening in my classroom. My first year teaching 3rd grade I noticed that the girls came into the classroom at age 8 looking like little girls (no curves) and acting like kids (boys have cooties etc). But by the end of the year many of the girls were starting to wear training bras and started paying more attention to boys. I could tell that this was not only confusing to the young girls (because they were not yet old enough to truly understand these emotional changes), but also created a strange dynamic in the classroom. Because what 3rd grade teacher is expecting to deal with puberty? I think that this early puberty is a pretty scary development for our youth and I really hope that we figure out what is causing it. We want our children to be emotionally and physically ready for these changes, and at eight and a half years old they certainly are not. Until they do figure out what the true culprit is, I encourage parents to avoid chicken with growth hormones (since they are putting hormones in the chickens to grow more breast meat) and to instead get organic or hormone free meat. It might not be the main cause of this problem, but avoiding products with extra estrogen and hormones certainly can't hurt. Read the full New York Times article: http://www.nytimes.com/2012/04/01/magazine/puberty-before-age-10-a-new-normal.html