Growth attenuation is an elective medical treatment which involves administering estrogen to cause closure of the epiphyses of the bones, resulting in a reduced adult height.
Since the 1960s this treatment has been performed primarily on children growing towards an adult height considered unacceptably excessive by their parents and doctors. The cultural consensus of what is considered an excessive height justifying treatment has differed in Europe and North America and has risen over the last four decades.
Most of the children treated have been girls, with larger numbers treated in Europe than in North America. The height considered unacceptable by parents and doctors has become substantially taller over the last few decades. Very few boys have ever been treated for excessive tallness in North America, but this also has been done more often in Europe.
Watch this video, which investigates growth attenuation therapy: