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Stephen Baskerville
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Legal Disclaimer
When Willie Wet the Bed
Fathering poetry about a classic problem.

When adult control fails, the resulting power vacuum is filled by gangs and bullies. By Clyde Verner.

Teaching Children the Importance of Winning
Encouraging in our children the drive to win can be just as important as teaching them to lose gracefully. By Chris Call.

Suggestions for the New Single Father
Russel Wayne provides some immensely practical childcare tips for the man who has to go it alone.

Promoting Your Child's Balanced Development
Giving your children the opportunity to develop a special talent can provide them with a sense of their uniqueness and be a healthy enhancement to their self esteem. By Gerald Alpern.

Classical Fathering versus the Judeo-Christian Model
We interview historian Frederick Hodges about raising children with classical Western values by avoiding the methods imposed on the West by Middle-Eastern religions.

What Fathers Do
by Jack Kammer.

The Fathering Advisor
Selected Reader Mail Gets Our Response

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Home > Puberty > Defining Puberty

what is puberty?

it's a lot of things

Recently, there has been a debate over whether the age of puberty really is getting younger, by how much, and why.

One of the reasons for the confusion is that puberty is not a single event with a single cause. There are a lot of changes going on in different areas as the body morphs into that of an adult.

The average age for menarche, when a young woman gets her first period, hasn't changed much in recent times, at least if assessed in relation to weight rather than age. But because girls (on average) are a lot heavier than they used to be, menarche is occurring at an earlier age. Obviously, this added weight is not a sign of better health.

Adrenarche, or the maturation of the HPA axis, comes first, and the timing of adrenarche is what has so abruptly changed in recent years. Early adrenarche was once called "Benign Premature Adrenarche," but now it has become apparent that it isn't so benign after all. Several different chemicals in the environment have been found to increase androgen levels, and the hormones in meat and dairy products may play a role.

Adrenal androgens have also been found to go up whenever we have prolonged or repeated "fight or flight" stresses such as those experience while playing some video games. These "shots of adrenaline" are to prepare the body for sudden and extreme physical action. Yet sitting passively at the computer, the physical action is suppressed.

Further research will reveal which enviromental and behavioral factors play a role in premature adrenarche.

Back to puberty index page...

The on-line magazine for men with families.

Must parents accept early puberty as normal? How early puberty wrecks your child's health.

Is the new baby a boy, or a girl? One out of every two thousand births presents parents with a sudden gender dilemma.

Fertility, Circumcision, Prostate Cancer

Protect Your Son
How a father discovered, too late, that circumcision is not a good thing. By Rio Cruz.

Children in Single-Mom Households "at Risk"
The fact that children raised by single mothers are at increased risk is found over and over again. Trev Martin asks, "What do we do about it?"

In Search of a History
"The Preamble, the Declaration of Independence, and the Gettysburg Address are the sacred scriptures of this nation." By Richard Hiatt.

Day Care - A Dangerous Experiment in Child-Rearing?
"Social science confirms that children raised in day-care centers and similar institutions are often emotionally maladjusted and mentally impaired." - The Wall Street Journal