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.