Early puberty onset is associated with earlier initiation and increased frequency of nicotine and alcohol use in adolescent males and females (Harrell et al., 1998, Patton et al., 2004, Wilson et al., 1994).
Today puberty occurs at increasingly earlier ages, up to 3 years earlier than 100 years ago (Gluckman and Hanson, 2006).
▶️ Earlier onset has been attributed to a number of factors:
👍 including improved nutrition,
👍 lower rates of disease in childhood,
👍 reduced early mortality,
exposure to growth hormones through cow's milk,
other endocrine-disrupting toxins (i.e., bisphenol A),
genetic polymorphisms, and
childhood obesity (Gluckman and Hanson, 2006, Parent et al., 2011, Surbey, 1998).
Regardless of the cause, earlier-onset puberty has resulted in 👉increasingly wider gaps between an individuals' cognitive and reproductive maturity👈 (Hawley, 2011).