Boys Developing at Younger Age
It is well known that in last decades girls mature at a younger age, while for boys we only had supposed such a thing. [In girls, breast development is the first sign and it starts at age 7-8 in about 10 percent of white girls, 23 percent of blacks and 15 percent of Hispanics, while the start of menstruating is around age 11- 12 on average].
Now, some recent studies reveal that it’s not just girls who are developing at younger ages but also boys are entering puberty earlier than past generations. And this is conflicting with what some doctors thought till now, since the food rich in estrogens -the main responsible for the early development in girls- logically speaking had even to delay sexual maturation in boys. What a coincidence, in a prior post I just mentioned a similar evolutionary issue.
The new study has been conducted by the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) through data coming from 212 practitioners in 144 pediatric offices that in 41 states have recorded information on 4.131 boys age 6 to 16. Conventionally, doctors based their examinations on the so-called Tanner stages of development, used to measure how far along in puberty a young person is. This method checks the sexual development during puberty and divides it into five stages, depending on the size of the genitals (G1, 2, 3, 4, 5) and hairs (P1, 2, 3, 4, 5). [see below for the stages table]
Results say that on average genital changes in boys start around the age of 9-10, with evident pubic hair between age 10 and 11, testicle size increasing before age 10, and with a full sexual maturity at 14-15. The stage 3, meaning a sexual development with a penis growing and testicles already producing sperm, happens at age 12. Besides the study says that African-American boys develop earlier than their white and Hispanic peers.
An older study, from the 1950s through 1970s of white boys in England, found that boys started genital development at age 11-12 on average, with pubic hair development typically between 12 and 13 – about two years later than in the new study.
Of course, for now doctors have only theories to explain the reasons of this changing as it is still not clear why boys also are hitting puberty sooner.
Contemporary data on the ages of pubertal characteristics in American boys, from onset to maturity, were lacking until now.
Although these results can give happiness to young guys and be a source of pride, another study by Cornell’s College of Human Ecology noticed that boys reaching sexual maturity more rapidly can go towards psychological problems, as getting along with others their age and having a higher risk for depression. Besides, when the release of the hormone testosterone reaches its maximum, boys can assume particularly risky behavior, as shows of strength, negligence or high propensity to violence, acts that lead to an increased number of serious accidents.
Regardless if such early development is good or not, parents should pay attention to their kids’ development, because in these cases evidently become important having a diverse chat with them and start talking earlier about sexuality and sex activity. Consequently, the sexual development takes boys to a greater need for masturbation or for sex with peers. Probably, this just is another reason why nowadays cases of pregnant teenagers girls have increased or because porno users age is lower. Thus, our society needs to take note and adapt to this, beyond medical or psychological dissertations, whereas it is impossible to deny or prohibit sexual activity to a girl or a boy of 14 years whose sexually already gets the same need of a more mature person. But according to the hypocrisy, moralism and puritanism of our society, these legal and mental changes will not be easy to achieve.
TANNER STAGES TABLE
Sexual organs are staged as follows:
Stage 1: The testes, scrotum, and penis are about the same size and proportion as in early childhood.
Stage 2: The scrotum and testes enlarge and the scrotal sac reddens and changes in texture. There is little to no enlargement of the penis.
Stage 3: There is further growth of the testes and scrotum and the penis begins to enlarge, mainly in length.
Stage 4: The testes and scrotum continue to enlarge and the scrotal skin continues to darken. The penis continues to grow in breadth and length with development of the glans.
Stage 5: The genitalia are of adult size and shape. No further enlargement takes place.
Pubic hair is staged as follows:
Stage 1: The vellus of the pubis resembles that over the abdomen.
Stage 2: Sparse growth of long, slightly pigmented, downy hair, straight or only slightly curled, appears chiefly at the base of the penis.
Stage 3: The hair is considerably darker, courser, and more curled. It spreads sparsely over the junction of the pubis.
Stage 4: The hair is now adult-like but the area covered is still considerably smaller than in most adults. There is no spread to the medial surface of the thighs.
Stage 5: The hair is adult in quantity and type, distributed in the “male” pattern of an inverse triangle, and may spread to the medial surface of the thighs.