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“Among girls who go though early puberty,” Varney writes, “there is an increased incidence of depression; alcohol, tobacco and substance abuse; riskier sexual adventures; teen pregnancy; and even suicide attempts.” Girls who get their periods earlier are “more likely to be sexually active sooner than girls the same age and are more likely to become pregnant and contract sexually transmitted diseases.” Varney also references a study that “found that women with early periods had an elevated risk for unwanted sexual touching and an even greater risk for forced sexual activity.” In the teen years, excess weight can also be an obstacle for a girl’s romantic development.One 2005 study found that “a teenage girl’s odds for a romantic relationship…dropped 6 to 7 percent for every 1-point increase in her body mass index.” With dating becoming that much more challenging, overweight girls often wind up in one of two categories, neither positive: Some become late bloomers, leaving them behind in knowing how to forge real relationships as they approach adulthood; or, seeking approval, they have sex earlier, leading to even lower self-esteem and continually high risks of pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases.In the new book “XL Love” (Rodale), health-policy journalist Sarah Varney informs us that these negative effects begin surprisingly early for many, such as how overweight girls begin puberty younger than their healthy-weight counterparts.“Some 15% of American girls now begin puberty by first or second grade,” Varney writes.“Over the last quarter-century, the age at which American girls begin menstruating has decreased by 2.5 months.” Carlton Gorton, a doctor in Belzoni, Miss., an area with higher-than-average rates of obesity, told Varney that “he has discovered girls as young as 5 and 6 years old who are developing pubic hair.
Pundits also point to the detrimental effect of sexually explicit content in movies, television shows, music, and video games aimed at kids. The interview then proceeded with a discussion of the survey’s shocking findings, including the percentages of teens having sex while at school and of girls who want to be teen moms.
There is a number of welcoming gay bars and discos, such as La Avispa ("The Wasp"), open since the late 1970s.