Thursday, May 14, 2009

This one is about periods.

But it's scientific.

In preparing for my growth and development talk with fourth grade girls, I was wondering if there is any evidence I can give them to show that "starting your period" doesn't mean "ready to have a baby."

I googled it.

Rabbit trail: Remember doing research in the LIBRARY? Dewey Decimal System ring any bells? Micro Fische anyone?

One result that came up was fascinating to me. Now while abc does a stellar job of LOST, I can't say that I feel strongly about the validity of their research. They claimed here that studies show the absence of a father is consistent with early menarche in young girls. (starting your period)


Ok. So I googled again, and got this. For those of you (like me) who are never gonna read all that, here is the abstract:

In this study we examined the relationship between menarche and interest in infants among adolescent girls, and the effects of early environment, particularly of father absence from home, on both variables. Eighty-three girls ranging in age from between 11 and 14 years served as study participants. Interest in infants was assessed through their preferences for photos and silhouettes of animal and human faces of infants versus adults. Information on menarche and the early family environment was obtained with questionnaires and interviews. Variation in menarcheal status or timing of menarche was associated with some differences in interest in infants. There was little or no evidence, however, that suggested a direct causal relationship between these variables. Instead, both menarche and interest in infants were independently associated with early father absence from home such that father-absent girls exhibited earlier menarche and greater attraction to infant visual stimuli than father-present girls. Our results are consistent with the hypothesis that father absence is associated with a developmental trajectory characterized by earlier readiness for reproduction and parenting.

For those of you who need the one sentence version, it says that they are making a reasonable guess supported by evidence that father absenteeism is associated with early maturation and readiness for reproduction.

My thoughts were as follows:

"Is this because there is some invisible chain connecting us and testosterone or lack thereof is sensed and the body naturally tries to gather/produce more of it?"

"Thank goodness that Bill is such a good and present father to Em."

"Yet one more reason to appreciate my own father."

"Wait. What if it is simple psychology, and the desire for parenting is translated into a desire to be a parent?"

"There is no hope for alot of my girls at school. How can I help them?"

"I'm so ready for the weekend."

I did not say they were great thoughts. Just thoughts.

Do you have anything to share? I would appreciate.



Neil said...

Very interesting. I've often heard grown folks say they never felt like true grown ups until their parents passed away. Something about being "on your own." I wonder if it's the same thing with pubescent girls. When Daddy's around, you're still his little girl. But if he's not, you think differently about yourself.

Just a guess.

Sarah said...

That's interesting Neil. I wonder...

Pound said...

the first thought in my head- i'm so glad i have 2 boys. lol sorry i'm no help.

Amy said...

hey beautiful, interesting post, i have personal experience with this, if you're interested in hearing it, email me :)

Goody said...

Hmmmmm.....I would be interested in what Amy says.