According to a new study, today’s girls are reaching for bras about a year earlier than they did 15 years ago. Yep, for some reason, it looks like girls are going through puberty much earlier than they did generations ago. Young women who blossom early are more likely to have problems with breast cancer, depression, and substance abuse, not to mention the fact that they have to spend more money on tampons and deal with more menstrual cramps over the course of a lifetime. So what’s going on here?Originally, scientists thought early bloomers were springing up because the population is getting fatter, and bigger chicks tend to develop breasts sooner. But, it turns out, this isn’t the whole story. The average weight of the girls in the study wasn’t very different from the girls surveyed 15 years ago. Is this the wishful thinking of prepubescent boys?
Now, scientists have a new theory. They think endocrine disrupting compounds (EDCs) may be to blame. These chemicals are found in lotions, shampoo, plastic, cigarettes, pesticides, and more. Because Europe is starting to test products’ effects on human hormones and the U.S., EDCs could have totally slipped under the radar. These compounds are similar to estrogen, and our estrogen receptors aren’t too hip to what is real and what is not, so they are easily faked out. These chemicals could be tricking young girls’ bodies into producing more estrogen which would, in turn, make them develop faster.
Pretty crazy, huh? [DoubleX]