15 Stories

Genes Help Predict When We Lose Our Virginity

Scientists exploring a possible link between onset of puberty and sexual activity

(Newser) - Sure, people become sexually active under countless circumstances for countless reasons and at many different ages, but at least part of the timing appears to come down to our genes, Cambridge University researchers report in the journal Nature . Studying the genes and life histories of nearly 400,000 people, they... More »

Smoked Pot as a Teen? You Could Have Been Taller

Non-users grow 4 inches taller than marijuana-addicted boys: study

(Newser) - Ever wished you were a bit taller? How about 4 inches taller? If you smoked marijuana as a prepubescent boy, that wish may not have come true. Researchers at a university in Pakistan studied levels of hormones linked to growth and puberty in the blood of 217 boys addicted to... More »

How One Woman Is Changing the Sex 'Talk'

Julie Metzger offers sex ed for kids—and their parents

(Newser) - The Talk (you know, the one about sex and puberty) may not be a pleasant prospect for either kids or their parents. And even if kids get sex ed in school, it may not make discussing the issue with parents much easier. But what if kids and parents took a... More »

Soda Could Cause Earlier Menstruation

Sugary drinks linked to first periods 2.7 months ahead: study

(Newser) - Scientists have previously observed that girls are having their first periods earlier than they once did, and a new study offers a possible reason: sugary beverages like soda. Researchers studied 5,583 US children between 1996 and 2001; they found that girls ages nine to 14 who downed an average... More »

Boy Needs Surgery After Hitting Puberty at 18 Months

Good news is that it seems to have worked

(Newser) - It was your standard-issue case of a boy going through puberty—changes in voice, genitals, and demeanor, along with some acne—except for one crucial factor: He was just 18 months old. The bizarre case is from India, where doctors diagnosed the toddler with premature puberty, reports the International Business ... More »

Boys Hitting Puberty Earlier, Too

It's age 9 in the earliest cases, says study

(Newser) - 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... More »

We Need to Stop Shaving, Ahem, Down There

Pubic hair is natural and shaving can be unhealthy: Emily Gibson

(Newser) - It's time to draw a Maginot Line around bikini lines and end the war on pubic hair , writes Emily Gibson in the Guardian . Whether driven by fashion, smooth-skinned celebrities, or an errant view of hygiene, it's a trend that leaves people susceptible to infections and suffering from chaffed... More »

More and More Girls Hitting Puberty by Age 7

And the percentages nearly double by age 8

(Newser) - Today's girls are even more likely to enter puberty by age 7 or 8, finds a new study. At age 7, 10.4% of white, 23.4% of black and 14.9% of Hispanic girls had hit puberty, based on their breast development. Those numbers nearly double just a year... More »

Tainted Milk May Be Causing Puberty In Infants

(Newser) - China's Health Ministry is investigating claims that hormones in powdered milk have caused baby girls to show signs of puberty, including growing breasts. Three infants, who range in age between 4 months and 15 months, have been found to have abnormal premature pubescent developments, and all three allegedly drank the... More »

Let 7-Year-Olds Have Their Padded Bikinis

Promoting healthy sexual exploration is what really matters

(Newser) - We should let 7-year-olds don skimpy bathing suit tops that give them the impression of having teeny boobs. Seriously, writes Laurie Penny for the Guardian , who would have loved to have a padded bra at that age, "if only to give an extra boost to the wodges of toilet... More »

'Puberty Pill' Could Make Kids Smarter

Drug would act on brain, blocking receptor that slows learning

(Newser) - Studying, schmudying: A pill that boosts teenagers’ ability to learn may be in the pipeline soon. A receptor in the hippocampus area of the brain appears to slow down learning when kids hit puberty, researchers at SUNY Downstate in Brooklyn report. Give kids a steroid to suppress that receptor, and... More »

Castration Drug Claims Rile Autism Community

Experts blast flimsy science, lack of testing

(Newser) - A drug used to chemically castrate sex offenders is being touted as a "miracle" autism treatment, but many leading doctors say the use of the chemical is medically indefensible, the Chicago Tribune reports. Lupron blocks testosterone, and users embrace the unsupported theory that autism emerges from a link between... More »

Scientists Find Gene That Triggers Menstruation

Scientists find genetic key that triggers when a girl gets her first period

(Newser) - Genetics appear to play a key role in the timing of a girl’s first period, the BBC reports. Researchers have discovered two genes that influence the onset of puberty in both sexes, adjacent to genes controlling height and weight. The findings are important because early menstruation can contribute to... More »

Puberty Starting for Girls as Young as 6

Shortened childhoods for little girls have experts worried

(Newser) - The first signs of puberty are appearing earlier and earlier in American girls, reports the Los Angeles Times. Early breast development is becoming so common that some experts are suggesting that the age at which it is considered abnormal be shifted down to 6 years of age for African-American girls... More »

Cancer Patients Gain Fertility Hope

Eggs from girls as young as 5 can be frozen before chemotherapy

(Newser) - Prepubescent girls with cancer do not have to give up the prospect of parenthood because of the effects of chemotherapy. Cancer patients as young as 5 can have their eggs removed and frozen before treatment, preserving their fertility, according to research by Israeli scientists. With childhood cancer survival rates climbing,... More »

15 Stories