Sexual Abuse May Cause Early Puberty in Girls: Study shows
By Robert Preidt
FRIDAY, March 31, 2017 (HealthDay News) — It’s common for parents to worry that their kids are growing up too fast. But in certain cases, early puberty in girls may be linked to sexual abuse, a small study suggests.
Pennsylvania State University researchers examined data from 84 girls with a history of sexual abuse and 89 girls with no history of abuse. Those who were abused entered puberty eight to 12 months earlier than those who weren’t abused, the investigators found.
“Though a year’s difference may seem trivial in the grand scheme of a life, this accelerated maturation has been linked to concerning consequences, including behavioral and mental health problems, and reproductive cancers,” said study author Jennie Noll. She is director of the Child Maltreatment Solutions Network at Penn State.
Typically, children’s physical and mental development occur in tandem.