NFP and some interesting science on sexual maturity.

I have been listening to past programs from the Catholic Lab Podcast where Mr Maxwell goes through the science of the Theology of the Body. There’s some fascinating research going on at the moment, which is going very far indeed to vindicate the prophetic words of Pope Paul VI, who of course was only reiterating 2000 years of teaching. Truth doesn’t change.

Anyway one area of research I have been interested in is the research on early menarche and it’s causes. THIS is a short pdf summary of some of the research. More and more evidence is building up to show that girls need a good close relationship with their father for them to have periods at a healthy age, and remain healthy. There is evidence that girls who grow up without a father or with an emotionally distant father will start their physical sexual maturation much earlier than girls in healthy relationships with their father.

It has been found that in the 19thC the average age for a first period was around 16, nowadays it is 13 and girls with absent or distant fathers start much earlier. Evidence is building that shows girls who start earlier will often start sexual activity earlier too and are at a very high chance of teen pregnancy.

Other views about the increase in early menarche link it to environmental factors such as hormones used in raising beef and dairy cattle, and the fact that chemical contraception leaves synthetic estrogens in the water supply. Going by how the research is going the “absent/distant father” factor looks strong, but as life is always more complicated than that there is probably some factors that include food and the concerning problem of artificial estrogens being pumped through the water supply.


On a slightly different note this article and discussion on whether NFP can ever be equated with what has been called “contraceptive mentality,” is very good.


2 responses to “NFP and some interesting science on sexual maturity.

  1. This is interesting. I had heard it said (though seen no research) that girls with a higher percentage body fat are more likely to start early, but would just that mean more opportunity for the enviromentally found hormones to be absorbed into fat?
    I have also often wondered how a mum who is on the pill and breastfeeds here baby (girl or boy) is affecting them, surely the hormone level would be higher than our general water supply. It has never been mentionned in info encouraging breastfeeding as far as I can see.

  2. Hi Liz, I think there is research that says overweight girls are likely to start their periods early. Your point about environmental hormones is a good one and I’ve never seen research into that. It makes sense and could even go some way to back up the research on how chemical contraceptives have made female cancer numbers increase so rapidly.

    The breastfeeding question is another good one. I offered to donate milk to the milk bank after Roni was born as I had loads but because of my meds they refused to take it (I was on codeine at the time and thought codeine laced milk might be just right for babies withdrawing from codeine, but they said no).
    I am not sure at what point after birth the mother would go back on the Pill, I think it’s about 6 to 8 weeks, although going by the rather silly information one student midwife gave me, they might indeed try and get women back on the Pill sooner than that.
    My friend who is training as an NCT teacher wonders if women who choose to bf for longer than the culturally acceptable 6 weeks, know enough about the merits of bf not to use chemical contraceptives. I don’t know – and I am unaware of research.
    I am sure you are aware that the research that so clearly shows the Pill to breast cancer link is barely mentioned in Breast Cancer charity stuff. Big business rules every time.

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