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Teen Health 411
Teen Health 411

Early Puberty and Agression in Women?

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Interesting title, eh? A University of Queensland study has reported in the Australian and New Zealand Journal of Criminology that females who experience puberty before the age of 12 may be more aggressive, which seems perfectly expected to me!

Young girls who experience puberty are frequently the tallest kids in their classrooms, the first ones to have breasts, and are likely to be teased and approached in a sexual manner by older males! This context means they are more likely to date earlier, have opportunities to drink, smoke and become sexual earlier, etc.. In fact, these girls, although they get in more trouble at teens, tend to grow up to be very strong and resilient women - characteristics frequently correlated with aggression!

I am simply not surprised by these results but do hope that the results encourage schools, medical professionals and others who work with preteens to notice pubertal changes and help young girls deal with the pressure and changing peer and social status that comes with puberty.

Photo credit: xinem
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About the Author

Dr. Brown is a developmental psychologist specializing in adolescent health.

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