Doctors and parents were stunned when research published more than a decade ago found American girls were beginning puberty at much younger ages, some as early as 7. A new study released Sunday suggests the average age at which puberty begins may still be falling for white and Latina girls.
According to the paper, which appears in the journal Pediatrics, almost 25% of African American girls have reached a stage of breast development marking the onset of puberty by age 7, as had almost 15% of Latina girls and more than 10% of white girls.
On my Honor [Ta-Nehisi Coates]
I was intrigued this weekend by the New York Times‘ pieces on the efforts of the Boy Scouts and the Girl Scouts to rebrand themselves in the face of declining membership; for the Boy Scouts, membership rolls have dropped by 16 percent in the last decade, while the number of Girl Scouts has fallen by 13 percent in the same time period.
Some of the significant cultural issues the organizations face are radically different. The Boy Scouts don’t allow atheists or agnostics to participate as Scouts or adult leaders, while the Girl Scouts voted in 1993 to allow members to substitute words or phrases for the promise “to serve God” in the Girl Scout promise. The Boy Scouts officially banned gay people from leadership roles in the organization in 1991, and in 2004 issued a position statement that said “homosexual conduct is inconsistent with obligations in the Scout Oath.” The Girl Scouts adopted a policy in 1991 that said there are no rules about sexual orientation with regard to leadership or membership, except that folks should behave appropriately and not promote any sexual orientation to members. And Girl Scout groups are allowed to partner with Planned Parenthood to provide sex education to members. In other words, social issues may play some role in declining membership in each organization, but it’s certainly not clear that kids are staying—or being kept away—from Scouting because the organizations have gotten either too permissive or too conservative.
Race in Seventeen Magazine [Sociological Images]
Jamie Keiles, of the Seventeen Magazine Project and Teenagerie, wondered how racially representative Seventeen was compared to the U.S. population. So she offered some data based on the May 2010 issue.
The Deferred [Rice Daddies]
Having had these painful experiences it would be easy for me to become bigoted and believe all black people were street thugs and criminals – especially having grown up through the generation of Gangsta Rap that celebrated violence and victimization.
But I don’t.
I don’t because – having been judged myself – I know it is wrong to judge an entire people based on the actions of a few. I don’t because growing up in America I am shaped by the “Black Experience.” For every black mugger there are two or more black artists or social activists who have inspired me to dream bigger dreams despite the expectations that come with stereotypes and social biases.