There is an increasing body of research about the earlier onset of puberty. This particular article in the Guardian this week focuses on girls in the USA.
Over recent months I find myself in more and more conversations with people across Brook about the younger clients that we see and the questions they have about relationships and sex. The age of puberty, sexual development and sexual activity has been the subject of much discussion ever since I have been working in sexual health over the last 15 years.
This type of research shows yet again that we must work with the fact and science that many children are maturing faster than in previous generations and as adults - parents, teachers and other educators we must ensure we provide timely education and support so they do not grow up with the fear, embarrassment and silence that so many of my generation did.
And of course yet more reinforcement of the need for compulsory sex and relationships education in schools. Not that we require any more evidence of its need.