Shampoo and early puberty

NY Times article. Scary: certain products can hasten sexual development in children, resulting in things like enlarged genitalia, breast enlargement (in boys as well as girls), and pubic hair by the age of 5 or 6. These products include testosterone-enhanced skin cream and shampoo containing estrogens and placental extract. Testosterone creams and sprays have also been shown to produce increased aggression in young boys.

Anything hormonal is dangerous for the development of young children, and, as the article states, this can even include pollutants in the water.

The article is silent, however, on the birth control pill and its big sister, the Morning After pill. These are essentially artificial steroid hormones (progesterone and estrogen) that wreak havoc with a woman’s reproductive system so that she cannot conceive a child.

What I want to know: If the hormones in something as innocuous as skin cream or shampoo can create physiological and behavioral abnormalities in infants and young children, does it not stand to reason that the sustained application of artificial hormones to a woman’s system would likely also be responsible for some developmental problems? Especially in boys, given the harmful effect of estrogen on the developing male brain? Why are there so many “intersex” babies born? (Formerly called “hermaphrodites”; article cites frequency of about 1 in 4,500 births.) And has it always been this way?

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