Early Developers

Social problems don’t just increase the risk for early puberty; early puberty increases the risk for social problems as well. We know that girls who develop ahead of their peers tend to have lower self-esteem, more depression and more eating disorders. They start drinking and lose their virginity sooner. They have more sexual partners and more sexually transmitted diseases. “You can almost predict it” — that early maturing teenagers will take part in more high-risk behaviors, says Tonya Chaffee, associate clinical professor of pediatrics at University of California, San Francisco.

In case you missed it, this past weekend’s New York Times Magazine’s long-read tackles the increasing phenomenon of early puberty in girls. It’s interesting and nerve-wracking aaand makes you want a drink. Good morning!

Elsewhere in children’s ages: cuteness wanes at 4.6.