90.9 WBUR - Boston's NPR news station
Top Stories:
PLEDGE NOW
Unease Over Girls And Early Puberty

Girls hitting puberty at 8, 9.  Very young.  We’ll ask why.

Are girls reaching puberty earlier? (Yves Hanoulle/flickr)

Are girls reaching puberty earlier? (Yves Hanoulle/flickr)

In American families with girls, daughters, the hot topic is early puberty and the sense that everything’s happening younger.  The signs of maturation, the physical changes, coming before age ten.  At nine.  At eight.  Earlier.

It’s by no means universal.  It’s not a problem for everyone.  Puberty itself is hard to define.

But bring it on early and the unease is palpable.  What does this mean?  Why has it happened?  What are the implications?

This hour, On Point:  the big unease over early puberty in girls.

Obesity can be a factor.  We’ll also look at the Vogue editor who denied food to her seven-year-old daughter.

-Tom Ashbrook

Guests

Elizabeth Weill, contributing writer for the New York Times Magazine.  Author of the article “Puberty Before Age 10: A ‘New Normal’?

Dr. Louise Greenspan, pediatric endocrinologist at Kaiser Permanente San Francisco

C Segment: Tiger Mom Dieting

Cynthia Bulik, director of the Eating Disorders Program at the University of North Carolina’s Department of Psychiatry.  Author of: “The Woman in The Mirror.”

From Tom’s Reading List

New York Times “One day last year when her daughter, Ainsley, was 9, Tracee Sioux pulled her out of her elementary school in Fort Collins, Colo., and drove her an hour south, to Longmont, in hopes of finding a satisfying reason that Ainsley began growing pubic hair at age 6.”

Babble Blog Breast growth at age 5? Stop!  That can’t be a THING…  Can it? It can. As Strollerderby has previously reported, girls as young as 7 are documented as having had their period.

Salon “It began with a feature called “Weight Watchers” in the April Vogue, written by Dara-Lynn Weiss. In it, Weiss chronicles her then 7-year-old daughter Bea’s dieting odyssey after the child had “grown fat.” It was a tale that involved putting Bea — who at 4-foot-4 and 93 pounds was veering toward childhood obesity — on an intense regimen of calorie restriction and public shaming.”

Please follow our community rules when engaging in comment discussion on this site.
ONPOINT
TODAY
Dec 19, 2014
Alan Gross, waves as he and his wife Judy leave following his statement at his lawyer's office in Washington, Wednesday, Dec. 17, 2014. Gross was released from Cuba after 5 years in a Cuban prison. (AP)

Cuba reset. Russia’s rubble troubles. School massacre in Pakistan. Jeb explores 2016. Our weekly news roundtable goes behind the headlines.

Dec 19, 2014
Soledad, and from left, Nina Pastori, and Lila Downs perform on stage at the Latin Recording Academy Person of the Year Tribute honoring Joan Manuel Serrat at the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino on Wednesday, Nov. 19, 2014, in Las Vegas. (AP)

From crossover hits to hip-hop to soul, we look at a big year in the wide world of Latin music.

RECENT
SHOWS
Dec 18, 2014
A poster for the movie "The Interview" is carried away by a worker after being pulled from a display case at a Carmike Cinemas movie theater, Wednesday, Dec. 17, 2014, in Atlanta. (AP)

A big Sony hack gets weirder and wider. And Hollywood and Homeland Security are on edge.

 
Dec 18, 2014
This handout photo from the Twitter account of Sen. Jeff Flake, R-Ariz. shows Alan Gross arriving at Andrews Air Force Base, Md., Wednesday, Dec. 17, 2014. The US and Cuba have agreed to re-establish diplomatic relations and open economic and travel ties, marking a historic shift in U.S. policy toward the communist island after a half-century of enmity dating back to the Cold War, American officials said Wednesday. (AP)

Following months of secret talks the US will restore full diplomatic relations with Cuba after more than fifty years.

On Point Blog
On Point Blog
Our Week In The Web: December 19, 2014
Friday, Dec 19, 2014

Rage, shortlinks and things you people seem to be into, we guess. Also, Putin.

More »
Comment
 
Cosby Accuser Beverly Johnson: ‘He's A Black Man. I Had To Separate The Trayvon Martins, The Michael Browns From What Happened To Me’
Tuesday, Dec 16, 2014

Beverly Johnson accused comedian Bill Cosby of drugging her in a high-profile Vanity Fair column. She tells us why she waited so long to share her story, and why it was even harder to share now.

More »
2 Comments
 
Our Week In The Web: December 12, 2014
Friday, Dec 12, 2014

On listener engagement, the meeting of trans-Atlantic royalty and the elusive origins of the chicken. (We promise this feed hasn’t been taken over the BBC…yet)

More »
Comment