While early puberty has long been documented in girls, a University
of North Carolina researcher has found that American boys are also
entering puberty earlier than ever, reports New Scientist (Sept.
22, 2001). Marcia Herman-Giddens surveyed more than 2,000 boys and
found that they began puberty at an average age of 12, six months
earlier than previous studies had found. 'I think a lot of it is
environmental,' says Herman-Giddens, who is particularly concerned
about the effects of endocrine disruptors, such as pesticide