Hormones in Milk Early Puberty in Girls but What About Boys

Updated on July 24, 2012
L.M. asks from Conneaut, OH
9 answers

ok, I"m looking for some information here,

I have heard before about milk being one of the reasons girls are starting puberty sooner than they did 40 yrs ago or what ever. to me this sounds probable but I admit I have not made the swtich.

A dear dear friend, has 3 boys and one girl. she serves organic milk to her DD 7 yo only. but the 10 yo 5 yo and 2.5 yo boys
are given regular hormone full milk.

so my qusiton is, Is there a biological reason for this inequality? Would it not maybe retard puberty in boys, if it accelerated it in girls. Or is my friend being sexist???
editesd: Secist probably isn't the right word but i tihnk my friend had some issues as a teen and i see her being very fearful of her daughter. so i'm not sure how to word it, other than, is there a reason to give to the girl and not the boys?

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So What Happened?

yes protective is the word, and I pick up on a really strong note of fear in my friend but i can't place it exactly not really fear of her daughter growing up, but maybe being teased. But i sort of look at it as it isn't a perfect world and there will always be something to be teased about. big boobs little boobs early boobs late boobs. some one somewhere will tease about it.

As for the milk, thank you for all the added into. I did try googling the affect that this might have on boys and got not solid info. So i guess maybe it does just come down to her being more worried about her daughter and maybe a cost issue.

This all lsparked a werid memory, I hadn't thought of i in forever but before i turned 4 our milk was raw from my grandmothers farm. huh, i guess we were in vogue before we knew it,

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answers from El Paso on

I don't honestly have a good perspective on why give to some and not others, but you don't have to do organic to get non-hormone treated cows. Just look on the label and if it says "From cows not treated with rBST" or some other acronym (don't remember the exact letters) then you're good on the hormone stuff.

3 moms found this helpful

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answers from Los Angeles on

Same impact, if not worse. We never give our kids milk or really any dairy. They get calcium out of their greens. Plus dairy increases mucus production, so kids who get sick seem to be sicker longer as well as increase the risk of ear infections.

5 moms found this helpful


answers from Washington DC on

There are hormones in very kind of milk. That's just the plain truth. Also there is no proof that "hormons in milk" influense early puberty in girls. Actully puberty comes when the body is at a certein wieght and has stored enough fat to sustain a pregnancy. With girls being more and more obse at an earlier age and with better nutrition in general pubery can come early. At the end of the day pubery will come whether you give your child cow's milk or not.

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answers from Minneapolis on

You should tell your friend that organic milk and "regular" milk both contain estrogen, because some of the cows that are milked are pregnant. This has nothing to do with any artificial growth hormones being given to the cows. This added estrogen has been theorized to be a risk factor for several different cancers including cancers of the testes, prostate, and breast. The theory is still being studied. She'd be better off feeding ALL her kids skim milk, which in lower in estrogen, if she is worried about this.


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answers from Charlotte on

I don't know that answer to your question, but I wouldn't be asking if she is sexist. That's not really a fair assessment of her actions, to be honest. She has probably been told that the hormones aren't good for girls, so that's why she only gives the organic to her daughter. It's expensive, so she feels that if she doesn't need to give it to her sons, then she saves money. That's not sexist - it's just what she thinks is okay.

It's a good question, about the effect of hormones on boys. Would love to know the answer!!

Smiles! Dawn

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answers from Los Angeles on

Perhaps you mean "protective" of her daughter?

Both boys and girls are affected, and if you have the opportunity to point this out to her, do. Tell her she can research it online if she doubts you.

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answers from Dallas on

I'm guessing she's assessing who has the bigger risk, and gibing them organic. She probably gives regular milk to the others, in an effort to save money. I don't get why she would think her sons aren't at risk, but I'm sure she has her reasons. We can only afford so much organic. We feed my son organic everything, and sometimes buy conventional for ourselves.

I think hormones in our food supply, are bad for everyone. I don't know if hormones effect boys the same way, since the studies are so young. I would not be surprised if they had something to do with rising fertility problems. Young, healthy men and women are having problems with fertility more then ever. I don't know if there is a link, but it would make sense. It makes sense that all these added hormones are harmful for anyone consuming them.

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answers from Pittsburgh on

I don't get it. Why would anyone do this? If they are harmful and can affect a child's growth and development, why take the chance when hormone-free is available?

Yes it can affect boys as well - they go through puberty, too, don't they?

I would also avoid soy with boys due to the phytoestrogens. It can really wreak havoc on their male hormones.

If you believe in organic, it's worth giving to all your children. I would recommend that she go hormone-free for all of her kids at the very least.


answers from St. Louis on

Here is the thing, they have no idea why girls are maturing quicker or even that they are. Consider this, my older daughter started her period, matured right around when I did give or take a couple months. She drank more milk, hormones and all, than most people I know.

Thing is we can't even say for sure if they are maturing younger. Sure you can look at the data in aggregate and say no it is younger. Then consider this, what if the girls that matured earlier, got involved in sex earlier, therefore had more children than those of us that matured later. Would that not also drive the age down simply because their offspring outnumber ours?

Anyway so far as male to female it shouldn't matter but then if it does depending on the hormones given if it really is driving early maturity shouldn't it be causing something like sterility in males, more feminine looking males? I assume it must me estrogen right?

I don't know but as you can tell I think the data is flawed. All of my friends have said their girls matured at the same age they did so I believe something else is driving the statistics.

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