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
Jan 28, 2015
Vice President Joe Biden speaks at Pellissippi State Community College Friday, Jan. 9, 2015, in Knoxville, Tenn. (AP)

The promise of free community college. What it might mean for our economy and our fraying social contract.

Jan 28, 2015
tasty

Did our sense of taste make us human? From evolution to culture, a new book explores the science and perception of flavor.

RECENT
SHOWS
Jan 27, 2015
As any ant knows, building a reliable team can be hard. (Flickr / Guildmn20)

From Silicon Valley to your office, some teams work better – and smarter – than others. We’ll look at the surprising reasons why.

 
Jan 27, 2015
Leader of Syriza left-wing party Alexis Tsipras speaks to his supporters outside Athens University Headquarters, Sunday, Jan. 25, 2015. A triumphant Alexis Tsipras told Greeks that his radical left Syriza party's win in Sunday's early general election meant an end to austerity and humiliation and that the country's regular and often fraught debt inspections were a thing of the past. (AP)

A leftist victory in Greece, and anti-austerity pushback across Europe. We’ll ask where this goes.

On Point Blog
On Point Blog
Our Week In The Web: January 23, 2015
Friday, Jan 23, 2015

New thoughts on Facebook, new analysis of State of the Union twitter activity and new weekend excitement. New! And exciting!

More »
Comment
 
Meet On Point’s Interns: Spring 2015
Friday, Jan 23, 2015

Good news! We have interns, and they are wonderful, and here they are for the spring term. Meet them digitally, right here.

More »
2 Comments
 
Caller To Author Ron Rash: ‘You Cared About People Like Me’
Thursday, Jan 22, 2015

An unexpected caller from South Carolina brings back guest Ron Rash’s years as a community college professor in a movingly real way.

More »
1 Comment