Early Maturation

Maturing Early Causes Psychological Problems

Rachel Heller, Staff Writer

Early maturing, especially for girls, has become the new “norm.” The average age for girls maturing begins at age ten and a half, but studies lately have shown that girls as young as seven years old begin maturing early, maybe not physically, but certainly mentally. If girls mature too early, this can cause them to have a lower self-image, which also leads to higher rates of depression, anxiety, and eating disorders. The difference between boys and girls maturing early is that boys will have a higher self-image and tend to be more popular with their peers.There may be positive impacts on maturing early, and of course there are also negative impacts.Negative impacts of early puberty include obesity and hormonal imbalance but there is typically no cause found, especially with girls.
Early puberty is more common in girls than in guys, and may lead to being teased, having poor body image, exploring sexuality earlier, appearing tall for your age, and being treated older than they are by adults and other children. As proven by Jane Mendle, a psychologist at Cornell University, “As children develop physically, it changes how they think about themselves and how people relate to them socially.” The average starting age for maturation, again specifically girls, was sixteen about a century ago. Today it ranges between the ages of eleven and thirteen. The objective marker of puberty in boys is not as clear compared to girls. Understanding the risks associated with early maturation, and “the things happening in the first year may be very different than the occurrences in the last year” as stated by Cornell. Early maturation is not something we have control over, but we do have control over any actions portrayed by us.