The relationship between the Internet and precocious puberty
Natural puberty is the period during which secondary sexual traits are developed and a person becomes fertile. Physical changes in this period indicate the onset of puberty in children. Nutrition, general health status, geographical location and, of course, mental state can all affect the onset of puberty.
But withIncreasing use of children using the Internet before recognizing the origin of its use and the dangers and harms ahead and how to prevent potential dangers, consequences such as Internet addiction, increasing conflict between parents and children, increasing the number of children with premature puberty Are and …… has followed.
Although the use of the Internet is widespread and does not belong to a specific age group, its use by children is of particular importance because they are growing and affecting their future; And this issue needs to be seriously studied. One of the consequences of using the Internet by children is premature puberty. In the past, we may have seldom heard of a child having premature puberty, which was also related to heredity.
As time goes on and we use the internet, we see many families whose children have reached puberty. But how can Internet use lead to premature puberty?
Premature puberty and the factors affecting it
Typically, pubertal changes should occur in early to mid-adolescence, between the ages of 11 and 16. Sometimes the physical changes associated with puberty occur before the expected time, which is called precocious puberty. Factors such as heredity, nutrition and exercise, body health, family experiences and environment affect the timing of puberty. These factors can delay the onset of puberty or cause premature puberty. Meanwhile, the use of the Internet by children affects some of these factors.
Internet use and sedentary children
In the past, children’s games were often associated with mobility and were considered a form of sport. But today, those games have given way to computer games, Internet search, cyberspace, and the like, which lack the mobility and exercise needed for children to grow.
We often see a child sitting in a corner and immersed in the virtual world, and if someone has something to do with him, he has to call him several times to come out of this fascinating world and give an answer. As you know, reduced mobility, especially in girls, leads to weight gain and fat. As body fat increases, fat cells release a protein that signals to the brain that there is enough energy in the body for puberty, so it causes premature puberty in children.
Use the Internet and access a variety of information
Access to information via the Internet is easy, at any time of the day and night without any restrictions and age separation. By accessing the Internet, the child can easily access content that is considered ugly in society. Also, with the advent of social networks such as Facebook, WhatsApp, Viber, etc., in a short period of time, easy access to the opposite sex, images and information such as porn, etc. has been made possible.
Parents are even happy that their child is playing tablet or computer at home instead of being out in the street and unsafe, unaware that cyberspace can be much more dangerous. Many of the photos and videos exchanged in the virtual world that reach the child may contain pornographic or violent content. “Look” is one of the scientifically proven factors that stimulate and secrete glands and sex hormones.
Although the child has not yet reached puberty, looking at such pictures and videos creates images in his mind. And each time you remember these images, the gonads become more active and faster. Faster stimulation and secretion of the gonads leads to early maturation of the gonads and causes premature puberty.
The impact of the Internet on children
Internet and conflict between parents and children
Living in cyberspace leads to depression and loneliness. The more the child becomes dependent on cyberspace and social networks, the greater the distance between him and his parents. The anxiety of living in such an environment fuels conflicts between parents and children. Research has shown that threats to emotional health accelerate puberty and that children reach puberty sooner when they are exposed to family conflicts.
Physical maturity in the absence of cognitive maturity When a child reaches puberty earlier than normal, although physically we see changes related to puberty (rapid increase in height and weight, sexual maturity, etc.), but he is still mentally And cognition has not matured, and this can lead to many dangers for the child. It is true that the body of a child is close to the body of an adult, but he is not yet mentally and physically able to recognize a person who has reached intellectual maturity and is easily deceived.
One of the characteristics of cyberspace is “anonymity”. One of the consequences of anonymity or hidden identity is that a person can introduce himself in any way he wants and define a new identity for himself. Sexual abusers can easily communicate and even make external appointments through cyberspace with children who have not yet reached cognitive maturity!
Premature puberty and height of children
When puberty occurs earlier, the baby’s growth spurt starts earlier and looks taller than other children until puberty is complete, but as puberty, which sometimes happens very quickly, develops, the growth plates close. . As a result, children who reach puberty earlier are usually shorter in adulthood.
Psychological consequences and anxiety
Children with precocious puberty are not physically compatible with their peers. That is why they are often anxious and lack self-confidence. This physical difference can cause problems for them in school and in the community. Such children are sometimes condemned to solitude and isolation because of physical differences rejected by friends. These physical changes affect the mood and interaction of children with parents and are usually accompanied by increased differences between parents and children.
Prevention is better than treatment
Before children seek access to the Internet and social networks through friends and non-family members, without any supervision or restrictions, it is better for parents to inform them about this issue in a proper and controlled manner and the dangers. Remind him of the possible use of this technology. This will not be possible unless the parents themselves are first fully acquainted with the Internet and social networks and choose the appropriate methods for teaching it to children.