So here’s the news: Puberty is starting earlier in boys. This article cites studies going back to the 1930s and finds that American boys are maturing sexually at a younger age. This doesn’t surprise me. The same thing has been happening to girls. We don’t know why this is happening, but chemical exposures, changes in diet, physical activity levels, and other lifestyle factors could explain it.
Here’s your take away: Never have your boys participate in one of these studies! I am quite sure my kids would be traumatized by it for life whether they reach puberty early or not.
Click through to find out how they determine whether your son has reached puberty.
4,131 boys ages 6 to 16 underwent Tanner staging and measurement of testicular volume. Tanner staging is 5-stage visual method for assessing sexual maturity through the development of secondary sexual characteristics, including genital and pubic hair growth for males. If their testicular volume is at least 3 mL they have started puberty.
I’ve changed diapers and dealt with bodily fluids like a champ because I’m a mom and that’s what we do. But just knowing that there is such a thing as testicular volume and that it is measurable in milliliters has changed me forever. I was traumatized just reading about the Tanner staging, and I’m not even an awkward, changing, 10-year-old boy. (I’m as close as you can get, though, for a 40-year-old woman.)
Science is great and this information is important but, seriously, ew. I’m already carrying around my boys’ weight, height, and shoe size in my head. Testicular volume? No thanks.
But you’ll notice when they go through puberty and when they do you need to be extra nice and instead of backing off because you are freaking out, double-down on hugs and guidance. They’re going to need it.
Read more from me at Every Day I Write the Book