How did my 12 year old girl become a mom?

 

Edema Tosan

 

How did my 12 year old girl become a mom? This is simply one scenario that no parent is looking forward to. But in the world today, stuff happens.

 

As present and future parents of young daughters we cannot help but broaden our view of this world and what it means for our daughters. We also don’t want to wake up in our old age to bear witness of our grand-daughters getting pregnant at 8, 9 or 10 years old and then realizing and regretting that we could have done something to mitigate or reverse this man-made cancer or nightmare. Yes, a world where our daughters are impregnated at young ages is created by what we as a species are doing.

 

This spate of younger girls’ impregnation is a growing trend that is worse than nightmares because nightmares have comprehensive causation. These nightmares causation have their direct and indirect roots in frameworks like the survival of the fittest and evolution. Our daughters’ getting impregnated before appropriate ages (18-20yrs or more) however, has no direct or indirect link to issues of the survival of the fittest causation as happens with some living organisms (bacteria, parasites, etc). The only other explanation then is good, old, plain human stupidity and greed for all the wrong reasons. This trend of young girls or daughters of 12-15 years of age having children is a nightmare that is becoming too COMMON in this era.

 

Admittedly, being a girl/woman in this ever evolving steroid world is not as easy as it should be. Our girls have the burden of experiencing and undergoing complicated paths to navigate this planet’s collective non-correctness and ill-righteousness daily. My daughter just experienced her first period (menarche) at age eleven and her expression after her menarche was odd at best. Her incomplete statement to her mom and I was; “thank God I am a female now”. She expressed relief saying the above; which in turn really scared the BI-JI-BIS out of her mom and I.

 

Few days later, my daughter shared with me she had been silently dealing with peer pressure from her female friends and classmates. Some of her friends and classmates have had their menarche 2-3years earlier. She revealed to us some of her friends and classmates had teased her as a late “menarcher” (bloomer). She felt like an outcast sometimes among her circles of friends and classmates. She has been wondering if there was something wrong with her.

 

Uncharacteristically; my daughter’s menarche conversational exchange was intriguing, intricate, worrying, disturbing, troubling, sympathetic and apathetic or all the above.  The overall good news from the above conversation was that her mom and I have observed an elevated self esteem boost in our daughter along with increased self-confidence and some cases of uncommon defiance. Of course my daughter also experienced some discomfort -cramping, bloating, fatigue, a little periodic snappiness, possible pre-anorexia, some idleness and withdrawal – not like social distancing (Covid-19). Her main change that got me most confused was her expressing what this (menarche) meant to her and the way she voiced out this new found relief. It was quite different for me to comprehend the above verbal statements and nonverbal statements exhibited by my daughter. Her mom and I agree to disagree on some of the above, but we are in unison about most of our daughter’s revving post-menarche drama.

 

Our daughter, for the last 1-2 years, has been carrying a huge burden on her tiny back. Going forward, I wish your daughters and our future daughters don’t have to undergo the same fate and experience that my daughter went through. These are my daughter’s exact words, “finally I am ok…thank God I am a female now,” accompanied with a deep, dragging confused look of exhilaration. Further discussion with my daughter on this topic revealed she has felt there was something wrong with her when she didn’t experience her menarche in the 4th, 5th or 6th grade like her other friends and classmates. She was an outsider among her friends and classmates during certain girl-to-girl conversations because her friends and classmates were much KOOLER and have had distinctive feminine characteristics and ahead of her in the experience game of life. My daughter also shared with us about a boy crush and how the boy and other subsequent boys viewed her from the lens of lesser femininity. Some of her female friends and classmates capitalized on the above and gossiped, scandalized and labeled her for not having any or enough experience as a KOOL girl.

 

Menarche in the old days used to be celebrated side by side like Spanish or Mexican Quinceanera. These days, it is something most parents don’t exactly look forward to – their daughter’s menarche (peak of pure innocence loss). It is now stigmatized and associated with younger age troubling trends that keep parent up all night questioning if our innocent daughters are sexually active. Nowadays, parents worries about the above burdens extend to their imagining the possibility and eventuality of our daughters getting pregnant before their 12th-15th birthdays. Our daughters are constantly bombarded and subjected to promotional television programmes (licit and or illicit), social media and other designed societal undertakings and in-your-face (lawyered-up) scrupulous media outlets that are cleverly designed to persuade, encourage and influence our daughters to grow up too fast without them getting a proper understanding of the fact that there are lifelong ramifications for their primordial urges and actions-entrapment.

 

The temptations that pressure our daughters to go out and try to be kool like others on television and magazines, clad in swimsuits and motioning catwalks, observing female body parts infatuation and other forms of modeling end up promoting short term gains through selling out daughters’ bodies for public consumption without sufficient and accountable compensating or addressing the long term ramifications of such practices. There are also social media -Youtube, Google, Twitter, etc – and different other peer pressure settings which also do not take into account the possibilities of some of the outcomes going bust in the form of say, increased high school drop-out rates and sundry individuals with derailed dreams/potentials. The above is now compounded by sub-standard and non-accountable television programs like TEEN MOMS that are now in their 10th consecutive season and garnering even higher ratings every year. This teen moms show continues to expose, stigmatize and exploit our daughters’ youthfulness along with the unintended child or children and mostly dysfunctional parental households (teen and teen parent or parents) designed to mostly benefit the networks and corporate America, while leaving our daughters and their new families to mostly squabble before falling down the road, and following in their mothers’ footsteps without knowing any better.

 

While the television networks and Corporate America benefit from what I call THE NEW BLOOD MONEY, our daughters are left to forgo vital education at the 7-10th grade with less than 50% chance of completing high school, less than 30% chance of getting a GED, and less that 10% chance of attaining a 2 year associated or 4 year B.Sc degree. Nearly one third of teen girls who drop out of high school cite early pregnancy or parenthood as a key reason. Subsequently, only 40 percent of teen moms finish high school and less than 2 percent of teen moms with babies before their 18th birthday finish college at age 30. Keep in mind the fact that the television networks within 1-2years of ‘our young celebrity-daughter’s’ 1st or 2nd pregnancy, probably with different partners; are already in search of other new, young, vulnerable daughters to replace our older daughters before a certain age (average 17-19) to keep sustaining higher ratings – a simple case of mercantile supply and demand at the expense of the lives that are being fundamentally altered.

 

Imagine that our society after indirectly raping and ripping off our daughters is now discarding them in the eyes of the general public before their 20th birthday. What a shameful, senseless and cold way to treat humanity’s most precious asset. Our daughters at 20 years of age should not be seen as damaged goods, but cherished, supported and loved no matter what has befallen them. This constant, unmitigated and unaccountable onslaught of television, YouTube, Google and now Twitter’s relentless but cleverly designed mass of appetizing advertisements which end up in corrupting our honest daughters is a runaway train wreck with very little or no chance of correction at this current pace and momentum.

 

The above outlets only care about the bottom line-profit and are blindsided by their short term greed and as such sacrifice and tarnish/ruin our daughters’ long term physical, mental and biological health/future/innocence/happiness. One of the unintended consequences of our daughters’ growing too fast is societal scourging and enabling predators and pedophile elements – sexual abusers and enhancers, ill-minded intentions, abuses-(physical, mental and social), different types of neglect, sexual enslavement, kidnapping, sex house/shops, and slavery profiting enterprises that are sometimes condoned by certain governments.

 

This enigma, where our daughters are experiencing their menarche younger and younger, year in and year out, has some  clear causation; only to be compounded by multiple factors with three of these factors as the main driving force behind the scene. These three main factors are AGRICULTURE, MEDIA INGENUITY and GENETICS. Other contributing factors influencing and enhancing early menarche are socio-economical disparities, health co-morbidities, intentionally misguided approaches, lack of education, traditional ideology and practices, bad societal influences and counterproductive family lifestyle choices. For humanity to continue, femininity must flourish; for there is no life without childbearing and the female ovum.  Imagine if men experience pregnancy, childbearing and childbirth; to think that our woman have to undergo monthly hormonal changes from menarche to menopause-more than one third of their full attainable lifespans!

 

This societal trend where our daughters are getting younger attaining menarche cannot be good for humanity, its correlates to the genie coming out of the bottle with emphasis on potential point of no return. If this trend is not checked or reversed like the run-away train it is, we will be having our daughters becoming pregnant on their eighth-tenth birthday within the next 50-100 years. No one of us is ready to marry off our daughters at ages 8-10 years old. Anyone that says otherwise has to have their head checked for loose nuts and bolts. Currently; there are lots of mostly 15 year old moms (35%) and few 12-15 year olds (10%), and on some exceptions, some 10-12 year old moms  (ea12%) worldwide already. Imagine if on a beautiful summer day waking up to your daughter, grand daughter or great grand daughter at 9-11 year old about to give birth to a new life. This is almost a reality our society has inadvertently created; unless we reverse this trend.  This is a certainty if we continue to do nothing about it and every parent’s worst nightmare.

 

While we march and protest against injustice, racism, corona, police brutality and killing, global warming, socioeconomical disparity between the haves and have not,  we seldom always isolate and forget the very simple gift that produces life-childbirth and likewise female ability and capabilities to bring forth life to supplant our ongoing miserable self destructive day to day existence. We should add one more protest to stress the above and awaken the entire world to do something and take it serious ASAP. Our women, girls, daughters, nieces, moms are the key to our existence. Yes, it takes two to tango but the women has to undergo metamorphosis for nine months to bring forth new life continuing and repeating the cycle of life as long as she is viable. Yet we men-so call daemon caretakers of this earth due to simple testosterone continue to defy, abuse, dominate, suppress, rape and stunt our girls, women, mom, daughter and nieces true growth and potential. While men plant the seed of life in a garden the woman has to nurture and caress the seed to grow to it full potential and post-birth nurturing growth continues before and after harvest.

 

When I was growing up I remember my older female sibling 1st menstrual period occurred around 14-15 years old. Most worldwide databases support the fact that 50-70 years ago, the average 1st female menarche was around 13.5 to 14.5 years old. Fast forward to the last 20-30 years my sweet and innocent daughter and other worldwide girls now average their 1st menstrual encounter around 11.5 year old, some database actually argue that this comes as early as  10.5 years old.

This 2-4 years drop in the last 70 years has significant, enduring and lifelong complication ramifications that we as a society have neglected and left unaccounted for far too long. Furthermore; we are not empowering our next generations to counter this anti-biological and man-made quagmire.The most damage from the above is very simple, when our children starts to menstruate regularly 1-2 years post menarche menstruation signal our girls body to start preparation for prime conception/pregnancies for the next 15-20 years, after 20 years and other accumulated human body damages; prime conception age turns into high risk conception/pregnancies; hence we now have most 33-38 years women consider as high risk pregnancy last 20 plus years.

 

The overall mathematics of pregnancy is that the female anatomy is capable of withstanding the ups and downs of the pregnancy roller coaster; 3-5 years post menarche (10.5-11.5 years of age) to the next 15-20 years ( 17.5-33/35 years age). Most pregnancy outside this time frame is doable but will require more medical scrutiny, supervision and some sheer luck. In comparison, I know of multiple moms 25-35 years ago, having babies in their 40th and even mid 40th years. These days, most women in their 40th have given up on child birth as a forgone conclusion even with advancements in medical science.

 

Another hidden consequences of early menarche is global declining total fertility rate. Total fertility rate is the average number of child birth per viable woman in several countries. The connection is simple; early menarche equates to fewer total fertility rate with women’s childbearing viability consideration. In the 1800s, the average  menarche age of European women was 15.5 years, with a 1-1.5 full percent drop in 1900s (13-13.5 years) and a steep drop of over 2.5 percent now (2000s) 10.5-11 years. The correlation is that the earlier the menarche, the same goes for shrinking total fertility rate of a viable woman. Consider this fact, the global fertility rate in the 1800s was around 6.3 child per woman, in the 1900s around under 5 child per woman and today around 2.5 child per woman. The 2.5 child per child per woman in the 2000s is once again the steepest drop trend notice last 1-3 decades small sample. Subsequently; in the 1800s women are considered high risk in their upper forties, compared to 1900s in the lower forties and now in the 2000s, women are considered high risk in their mid thirties. If you are following the mathematics correctly having early menarche equates to early high risk pregnancy and lower childbirth per woman.

 

While a lot has been elaborated upon about media ingenuity’s contribution to this challenge in this op-ed, agriculture’s contribution to this compounding problem will be explored in a follow up op-ed, along with the provision of counter solutions. The genetics angle is still evolving and is not too substantiated at this time so we may leave it out for now.

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