J500 Media and the Environment


Precocious isn’t always precious by mackenzies09

Should they make a coloring book version?

I can still remember eavesdropping on the phone call my mother made the day I got my first period. She was breaking the news to my father. I thought I would die of embarrassment. Luckily for me, I was at the normal age for puberty and was just mature enough to handle the situation. But many girls, especially African American girls, are having to deal with “womanhood” earlier and earlier.

There are different types of precocious puberty. Some are linked to “natural” causes like genetics and a high BMI, but other types are linked to exposure to external sources of estrogen and testosterone. Exposure can occur through many vehicles. Our food and hair care products can be major culprits.

The FDA currently allows six steroid hormones for use in food production. They are most commonly used in the beef and dairy industries, which means these hormones are passed to us by consuming hamburgers and milkshakes. While large studies have not been conducted to determine whether exposure to hormones through food directly causes premature puberty, it’s a risk I wouldn’t take with my children.

Many hair care products targeted towards the African American community are made from animal placentas. These products contain high levels of estrogen and estriol. One study found that four girls, ranging in age from 14 months to 7 years, began developing breast tissue and/or pubic hair after being exposed to placenta hair products. Once the use of these products was discontinued, a regression occurred in their premature development.

Puberty is arguably the most confusing, and embarrassing time in a young girl’s life. Can you imagine the physical and psychological effects of becoming “sexually mature” at the age of 2, 5, or even 7?

-Mackenzie

photo credit

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2 Comments so far
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Here’s a story about an 11-year-old girl having a baby- http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-385968/Girl-11-Britains-youngest-mother.html
Our meat is alerting the very nature of growing up for early teens (and 11 year olds…) You’re supposed to be young and innocent longer than that!

Comment by amandat09

Wow! That is a really scary article! After writing this post I talked to a friend who has 4 young daughters. He was shocked to learn about the hair products and promised to read the labels more closely from now on. I know he would like to keep his girls young and innocent for as long as possible.

Comment by mackenzies09




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