A new study offers a sad explanation.

By Kelly Bryant
Updated May 05, 2016 @ 11:15 am
The Startling Reason Why Teen Girls Stop Playing Sports
Credit: Getty Images

As women we know we’re strong enough to do anything that guys do, and while there has been a big push to empower young girls to embrace their strength, there’s still a noticeable drop-off rate of female sports participation when they hit high school. Why are teen girls ditching activities they once loved?

The Journal of Adolescent Health recently published a study placing the blame on the onset of puberty and the development of boobs in particular. For anyone who has memories of the awkward years of getting used to your changing body, this probably isn’t a huge shock, but it is a real bummer. In fact, the study asked 2,089 girls between the ages of 11 and 18 in the UK on the subject and over 70 percent said they had at least one concern about their breasts in regards to exercising and playing sports.

On top of that 50 percent of the study participants said their breasts impacted their sports participation and exercise regimen negatively, with that percentage jumping to 63 for girls who reported themselves as larger-breasted.

In the end, the research team suggests that girls need to receive better education on their breast development and the supportive bras that will help them adjust as their bodies change. Think about it – while boys are instructed to wear protective cups and other gear, there’s generally no mandate or education on keeping your body safe for girls.

Hopefully studies like these and implementation of education on sports bras and body growth will help us stick with a healthy lifestyle.