Thursday, July 1, 2010

New hormone potentially erases lesbianism and other masculine behavior in fetuses

This is some of the most terrifying news that I've heard in a while: an endocrinologist in New York named Maria New has for several years been encouraging pregnant women to take a steriod called dexamethasone, ostensibly to prevent congenital adrenal hyperplasia (CAH). CAH can mess up a kid's adrenal glands and require lifetime steriod treatment, as well as cause ambiguous genitalia in girls. One might think that studying ways to prevent this condition might not be so controversial, and yet:
The challenge here is . . . to see what could be done to restore this baby to
the normal female appearance which would be compatible with her parents
presenting her as a girl, with her eventually becoming somebody's wife, and
having normal sexual development, and becoming a mother. And she has all the
machinery for motherhood, and therefore nothing should stop that, if we can
repair her surgically and help her psychologically to continue to grow and
develop as a girl. -New, 2001

Gender-related behaviors, namely childhood play, peer association, career and
leisure time preferences in adolescence and adulthood, maternalism, aggression,
and sexual orientation become masculinized in 46,XX girls and women with 21OHD
deficiency [CAH]. These abnormalities have been attributed to the effects of
excessive prenatal androgen levels on the sexual differentiation of the brain
and later on behavior . . . We anticipate that prenatal dexamethasone therapy
will reduce the well-documented behavioral masculinization. -New and colleague Saroj Nimkam, 2010

I don't know what's scarier, the possibility that the treatment doesn't work -- as testified to by some of the women who took the steroid during pregnancy and whose children now suffer birth abnormalities -- or the possibility that it does.

If this steriod was actually effective in altering the physical appearance, behavior, and sexual orientation of a girl fetus, I could easily see a groundswell of support building for its widespread usage, among the same people who abhor fetal stem cell research. Because experimenting on babies is totally legit as long as it supports their cultural agenda. Gotta make girl babies more GIRLY, and eager to make more babies.

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