Boys Hitting Puberty Earlier, Too

It's age 9 in the earliest cases, says study
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 20, 2012 12:12 PM CDT
Boys Hitting Puberty Earlier, Too

It's widely accepted at this point that girls are reaching puberty earlier than they used to, and now the same appears to be true of boys. A comprehensive new study says boys are entering puberty somewhere between six months and two years earlier than the textbooks think, reports CNN. In the earliest cases, African-American boys reach puberty just after age 9, with whites and Hispanics about a year later.

The research doesn't say why, notes HealthDay, and researchers call for more study into the question. They mention diet, obesity, a lack of physical exercise, and a host of environmental factors as possible culprits. "We have now a huge discrepancy between when the body starts to mature physically and when overall maturity is achieved," says the study's author. "So, there may be a big and growing gap here, which can cause all sorts of concern for guidance and teaching." (More puberty stories.)

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