An Australian study has found that girls are hitting puberty earlier. The study also found evidence to suggest that girls are just as aggressive as boys while in puberty.

The study attributed the decrease in the age of onset of puberty to an increase in obesity in young women, which also resulted in the girls becoming more aggressive earlier on.

Study lead author Jake Najman explained the significance of the study. “The most important finding we have is that when we look at the overall level of aggressive and/or delinquent behaviour by boys and girls at 14 years of age, the girls were just as aggressive as the boys, they were just as likely to be delinquent,” Professor Najman said.

“What we’re seeing, I think for the first time, is that many of the more common aggressive or delinquent types of behaviours that exist in society are now being exhibited by females in much the same way they were exhibited by males.”

The study can be found at the Australian and New Zealand Journal of Criminology.

Writer Tristan Boyd, Editor Dr Ramesh Manocha.