Sydney, Jan 11 (ANI): Girls, who go through puberty before turning 12, are found to be more aggressive and more likely to steal, fight and take drugs than their later developing peers, according to a University of Queensland study.
The researchers found that early puberty makes girls "significantly" more aggressive than those who experience puberty later.
The study has also found that there's no marked difference between boys' and girls' aggression levels when at the same stage of puberty.
The findings have come from Australia's largest longitudinal study, which tracked more than 8,000 mothers and their children over 21 years.
Lead author and sociologist Professor Jake Najman said that girls who are early bloomers are more likely to steal, fight, smoke and take drugs, but the reasons behind such tendencies are not conclusive.
It's also not known whether these characteristics carry on to womanhood.
Prof Najman says the findings, coupled with children reaching puberty earlier and earlier, may explain why girls are increasingly involved in anti-social behaviour such as drinking, smoking, drug-taking and bullying.
"It links together, in a sense, that what we're seeing is probably more aggression and delinquent behaviour by females at younger ages as a social trend," the Sydney Morning Herald quoted him as saying.
"... We're seeing women behaving more like men in terms of their behaviours," he added.
The study also disproves the belief that boys are more aggressive than girls because of higher testosterone levels.
Najman said the study showed that intervention programs aimed at dealing with anti-social behaviour should be introduced before puberty to have the most effect.
The study has been published in the Australian and New Zealand Journal of Criminology. (ANI)