DOI link for Introduction
Drawing on a Foucauldian genealogical analytic, or a ‘history of the present’, research traces the birth of Western puberty science in the early 1800s, and follows its expansion and shifting discursive frameworks over the course of two centuries. Anyone searching for ‘puberty’ online will find several medical sites providing young people and adults with plenty of information. Sometimes, treatment of a related health problem can stop the precocious puberty. Dramatic results are usually seen within a year of starting treatment, which is generally safe and usually causes no side effects in kids. Arguably, if ‘normal’ puberty can already be challenging – as stated by online medical sites – precocity might cause the child to experience behavioural troubles and psychosocial difficulties in more dramatic ways. In addition, it has been known since the 1940s that earlier hypothalamic activation leads to the premature closure of the epiphyses, which might reduce the child’s final height.