A couple of weeks ago, The New York Times ran an article, “Puberty Before Age 10: A New Normal?” that begins with a story about a young girl hitting puberty at age six. After struggling to understand her daughter’s early development, the mother writes:
It might be the hormones in meat and milk, it might be pesticides, it might be flame retardants, it might be the plastic Playtex insert baby bottles we microwaved when she was a baby, it might be eating more protein than our ancestors, it could be anything. Or it’s possible that it is none of these things.Either way, it is what it is, we’re not likely to stop it, at least not before this crop of girls develop into teenagers. The only thing to do is accept it, and dare I say, even embrace it.
As parents to still very young daughters, all of this has really struck a chord. We’re already doing our best to avoid exposure to toxic chemicals linked to hormone disruption and to live a healthy life in general – but we also know enough about health and biology to know there’s a lot beyond our control.
We got to thinking, what if one of our daughters ends up in the fast-lane of development? Would we have the grace to “embrace it” like the mother in the article recommends?
What would you do?
What do you think of this shift in female development?
(P.S. We only touched on one facet of the NYT’s article – it’s really a great read if you have five minutes!)