Change Your World-NOT your Body

Sunday, September 23, 2012

CAH-Lezbophobia and The Male Medical Machine

I'll begin this post using info from this website, then close with my commentary on what is clearly a medical aim toward lesbian genocide.

What is CAH?
Congenital adrenal hyperplasia (CAH) is a serious endocrine disease that occurs in both males and females and typically requires lifelong hormonal management.

What else does CAH involve?
In females, some forms of CAH, including 21-hydroxylase deficiency, increase the likelihood that a girl will be “masculinized.” This means she may be born with atypical genitals (for example, a larger than usual clitoris). Girls with this form of CAH are also more likely to be tomboyish, and studies have shown they are more likely than the general population of females to be lesbian or bisexual and to be interested in traditionally male hobbies and occupations. They also, on average, have less interest in having children.

Why are some doctors interested in using dexamethasone to target these females prenatally (while they are fetuses in their mothers’ wombs)?
Some doctors advise women who are “at risk” for having a girl with 21-hydroxylase deficiency CAH to take dexamethasone prenatally. This intervention does nothing to prevent or cure CAH. The primary goal is to prevent the development of ambiguous genitalia in girls...Some doctors have also suggested that prenatal dex might prevent these girls from being lesbian, tomboyish, male typical in their interests, and disinterested in being wives and mothers. 

Isn’t prevention of ambiguous genitalia a legitimate medical issue?
A big clitoris or a small penis isn’t dangerous physiologically. It makes sense intuitively that having “ambiguous genitalia” might increase psychosocial risk of harm. But studies have not shown that, and indeed the evidence we have from people who have grown up with their atypical genitals intact suggest there is not an increased risk.
 So what are the risks and unknowns of prenatal dex?
The Swedish study group -- the only group to ever study this intervention in a prospective controlled manner -- now reports that approximately 1 in 5 children exposed prenatally have suffered a serious adverse event. In a journal article detailing outcomes on 43 children treated in Sweden and Norway during 1985-1995, when compared to controls,
[i]n general, treated children were born at term and were not small for gestational age. As a group, they did not exhibit teratogenous effects/gross malformations, although eight severe adverse events were noted in the treated group, compared with one in the control group. Three children failed to thrive during the first year of life; in addition, one had developmental delay and hypospadias; one had hydrocephalus; two girls were born small for gestational age, and one of these girls was later diagnosed with mental retardation; and one child had severe mood fluctuations that caused hospital admission. In the control group, only one child was admitted because of Down’s syndrome.

How is it the Americans haven’t found an adverse effect rate of approximately 1 in 5? Probably because they haven’t looked. American physicians, under the guidance of Maria New, have done this intervention outside prospective controlled long-term studies, in spite of all the calls from all the medical groups over the years NOT to do it outside these kinds of studies...Remember that, according to a recent article in Endo Daily reporting on the Task Force that produced the latest consensus to label prenatal dex experimental, dexamethasone “crosses the placental barrier and may affect the fetal hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis. Prenatal use of the drug is associated [with] low birth weight, central nervous system effects, cleft palate, liver enlargement, a decrease in fetal beta cells and other negative outcomes in animals. The human literature suggests that prenatal dexamethasone carries a 1.7 odds ratio for orofacial clefts and decreases birth weight by about 0.5 kg.”

Why is there so little data on outcomes, when thousands of children have likely been exposed to this prenatal intervention?
Of 1,083 studies reviewed by a major medical task force in 2009-2010, only four of those studies were good enough to provide any meaningful scientific data. That is because Dr. Maria New and her collaborators have not been studying this drug use as they should have, in prospective, controlled, long-term clinical trials from start to finish. Instead, they’ve been describing the drug as safe, recruiting hundreds if not thousands of pregnant women with this claim of safety, and then studying mothers and children years later with questionnaires to see if the drug really was safe.

So all these pregnant women in the U.S. really were being used as experimental subjects without being told that?
This use of prenatal dexamethasone for CAH is off-label, which means it has NOT been determined by the FDA to be safe or effective for this use...It appears that nearly all medical experts have agreed that this drug use is experimental and should only be done in controlled clinical trials with IRB oversight. The contrarian in this case has been Dr. Maria New, who has for many years described this use as “safe for mother and child” both at her own website and at the CARES website.

As the media picked up this story, Dr. New apparently denied to reporters that she was interested in preventing homosexuality in the womb. We are not sure how she can deny it. Besides what we quoted from New’s own words in the Bioethics Forum post, Anne Tamar-Mattis has found numerous additional pieces of evidence that some of New's grant applications to the NIH specifically named as an interest seeing whether prenatal dex could reduce "behavioral masculinization" in girls with CAH, including in terms of making them more likely to turn out to be wives (of men) and mothers.

Here are just two of several relevant passages found by Tamar-Mattis in the grants we FOIA’ed:
  1. (a)"The overall objective is to fill the gap of knowledge about the long-term consequences of early-prenatal DEX treatment on childhood development on the one hand, and the success of DEX in suppressing behavioral masculinization in the sub-sample of girls with definitive congenital adrenal hyperplasia on the other." [Scan available here: 12.97 suppressing masculinization.pdf]
(b)"The spectrum of behavioral effects ranges from mild or marked tomboyish behavior of childhood to increased adolescent/adult bisexuality and lesbianism; through full male identification with request for sex reassignment surgery and legal gender change in adolescence or adulthood...In addition, the genital abnormalities and often multiple corrective surgeries needed affect social interaction, self image, romantic and sexual life, and fertility.  As a consequence, many of these patients, and the majority of women with the salt-losing variant, appear to remain childless and single. Preventive prenatal dexamethasone exposure is expected to improve this situation."

Yes, indeed, it’s true: our government (through the NIH) has been supporting grants aimed at seeing whether prenatal dex can “successfully” prevent homosexuality, tomboyism, and so forth.

See the website linked above for more information if need be.

 There is much substantiated evidence that DEX isnt being utilized to help CAH females, because other than potentially (again no long term proof) changing the clitoris size of CAH babies, the only other changes from this drugs use is conforming CAH females to "normal" femaledom. And really, what is a normal clitoris size? A clitoris that doesnt intimidate/offend the male masturbatory gaze? A gaze so perverted by decades of pornographic vagina's not mimicking the Male Medical Machine's constructed designer vagina's used in porn, that most men AND women are completely ignorant as to what constitutes as a normal vagina??? 

But FAR more than just a nice happy sized clitoris, this drug is being used to prevent CAH females from winding up tomboys or worse developing into full fledged LESBIANS! While clearly not every lesbian is a CAH female, that the Male Medical Machine is using drugs in efforts to prevent some females from becoming lesbians, comfortably couples with the DSM's soon to be legalized medical option to transition children whose BEHAVIOR doesnt conform to the Gender Straight Jacket and worse, might lead to a gay or lesbian adult. 

What all this signifies is, if drugs ARE being used right now to prevent lesbianism is some, they will eventually be designed to prevent lesbianism in most and where some lesbians slip through the cracks transition will catch those in early childhood. The future isnt only a nightmare, the future is RIGHT FUCKING NOW!

dirt


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22 comments:

  1. I find it endlessly fascinating that all the posts you make about real issues (like this one) have little to no comments, and yet the posts you make inciting the worst of the trans politic on the internet have endless comments from the same old tired posters.

    It says to me that the same old tired posters really aren't interested in having a discussion about issues that matter, or creating change -- they just want to piss about trans people.

    I don't even know what I think about influencing sexuality in the womb, I'm still too stunned to process it.

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  2. I think its horrible that doctors are willing to sacrifice 20 percent of the girls to infant mortality or severe retardation just so the other 80 percent will be considered 'normal' by conservative society's demands on females.

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  3. @ Anon 5:52 PM
    Where are all the comments from all the people who normally bash trans men?

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  4. wow, important new learning. thanks Dirt.

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  5. Commenters shouldn't attribute motives to non-commenters. I wasn't going to comment, because I'm not up on the technical issues, period.

    And it's not pissing on trans people to object to the collateral damage of treating childhood GID, which has as many false positives as this new treatment.

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  6. @10:51

    That's what I'm saying! Dirt posts something that begs some serious thought, and all of a sudden all the usual suspects are nowhere to be found.

    Hasn't buggering with babies in utero always been a fear? Designer babies? I'd like mine to have green eyes, red hair, and GOD HELP YOU IF SHE TURNS OUT A DYKE! Can you imprint some 1950's attitudes in there too? I want her to know that all she has to do to make "her man" happy is cook him a nice meal and spread her legs whenever he wants!

    Should there be rules about what parents can and can't request? Who makes them? Who enforces them? Will there be black market certified NOT GAY babies?

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  7. "That's what I'm saying! Dirt posts something that begs some serious thought, and all of a sudden all the usual suspects are nowhere to be found."

    None of her followers haven't commented either. Hmmmmm! Looks like people are tired of reading the same old shit over and over! People got bored! They moved on to bigger and better things.

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  8. Hey, you get flak if you post, you get flak if you don't post..............

    Seriously folks, has no one spotted that the interventions going on with supposed transkids have just as much medical validity as some of this nonsense?

    Has no one spotted that until recently a girl liking girls was described as 'masculine' (and to be avoided according to some). This stuff seeks to avoid both LESBIANS and tomboys. And what is ANOTHER label that gets thrown at girls who dare to be tomboys rather than little princesses?

    They're trying to 'help' non-conforming girls full stop, whether that includes a fear that they'll turn out gay, or just non-approval of being a tomboy (or claiming they're a real boy, because you know, SOMETIMES little girls get so tired of being told they're not a proper girl that they'll argue -- well, I must be a boy then..................).

    Why is this one a REAL issue, but medicalising non-gender conforming kids not a real issue..........

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  9. First, giving pregnant women drugs scares the heck out of me, and it should automatically throw up red flags when people start mentioning drugging pregnant women.

    “This use of prenatal dexamethasone for CAH is off-label, which means it has NOT been determined by the FDA to be safe or effective for this use...”

    Isn’t this also true for puberty suppressing drugs for “gender dysphoria”?

    I’m just starting to carefully read through all the material at the website that was posted. I haven’t had the time to thoroughly research this, but it does seem scary to me.

    http://www.fetaldex.org/home.html

    "Purpose of this website: This website seeks to raise ethical concerns about the prenatal use of dexamethasone (a Class C steroid) when it is given to pregnant women to attempt to prevent female fetuses from developing genitals that are atypical, and when it is given by clinicians to also prevent females from being psychologically “masculnized,” i.e., tomboyish, more aggressive than average girls, and ultimately lesbian of bisexual in sexual orientation."

    http://www.fetaldex.org/home.html

    Lots of research to read….


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  10. I agree with the previous posting. Pregnant woman shouldn't be given drugs.

    I too will have to read more about this topic. From what I have read so far, I don't agree with it. I say, let kids be who they want to be and let them decide for themselves.

    I think it's really selfish of women to do this to their babies.

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  11. So, what you are saying is that, despite these people having an *intersex* condition, you would call them whatever their chromosomes are and claim them for the lesbians? Do they get to decide themselves? Masculinized in the womb? Large clits and shallow vaginas? Hmmmm. I don't agree that people should be treated for anything when they can't agree to it, as I had surgery for an intersex condition as a child. But the flipside of that is that *I* get to decide who and what I am. Not Dirt, and not a bunch of lesbians looking to beef up their numbers by co-opting the identities of others.

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  12. "But the flipside of that is that *I* get to decide who and what I am. Not Dirt, and not a bunch of lesbians looking to beef up their numbers by co-opting the identities of others. "

    I think you'll find that MOST people posting on here would AGREE with that when it comes to intersex people -- rather than the current situation, where we have either pre-natal drug regimes for those 'at risk', or childhood surgery.

    But don't fall into the trap of confusing intersex and trans, something that the trans lobby is more than keen to do, who are continually trying to present trans as some sort of intersex condition.

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  13. Please note, these drig treatments are being given to women WITHOUT their babies actually being diagnosed as intersex, just that they have a greater risk of being intersex. It doesn't actually treat or improve the actual condition (the CAH), just attempts to address the 'cosmetic' issues that may arise in terms of ambiguous genitalia or supposedly 'ambiguous' gendered behaviour.

    I think you'll find it is trans people who have been guilty of co-opting the identites of intersex people, and trans people who have been guilty of co-opting the identites of lesbians, rather than vice-versa.

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  14. To my intersex friend…

    "But the flipside of that is that *I* get to decide who and what I am. Not Dirt, and not a bunch of lesbians looking to beef up their numbers by co-opting the identities of others."

    I have nothing at all against intersex individuals. Intersex individuals are part of the human family. As I understand it, the vast majority of FTMs (female to male transsexuals) are genetic females, and the majority of MTF (male to female transsexuals) are biological males. They don’t fall under the medical definition of intersex. From what I gather, this blog is about FTM, or biological females “transitioning” (surgery and testosterone for life).

    As an intersex individual, I'm sure the person who posted this comment should be painfully aware of the tragic and, indeed, brutal history of genital surgery on young intersex children because their genitals at birth didn’t meet with societal views of proper masculinity and femininity.

    “The Intersex Society of North America was the most influential and persistent, and has advocated postponing genital surgery until a child is old enough to display a clear gender identity and consent to the surgery. Recommendations from these voices ranged from the unexceptionable (ending shame and secrecy, and providing more accurate information and counseling) to the radical (assigning a third sex or no sex at all to intersex infants). The idea that possession of abnormal genitalia in and of itself does not constitute a medical crisis was stressed.”

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_intersex_surgery

    “In the 1950s, a team of medical specialists at Johns Hopkins University developed what has come to be called the “optimum gender of rearing” system for treating children with intersex. The notion was that the main thing you had to do in cases of intersex was to get the gender assignment settled early, so kids would grow up to be good (believable and straight) girls and boys.

    Under the theoretic leadership of psychologist John Money, the Hopkins team believed that gender was all about nurture—that you could make any child into a “real” girl or boy if you made their bodies look right early (before about 18 months of age), and made them and their parents believe the gender assignment.

    Though the Hopkins team wrote early on that children should be told the truth about their intersex histories in age-appropriate ways, in practice many medical care providers lied to patients or actively withheld medical history information from them. Medical textbooks frequently gave doctors advice about how to lie to patients with intersex.
    As the Hopkins model spread throughout the developed world, surgeons performed cosmetic genital surgeries on intersex children without their consent, believing this was necessary and efficacious. Endocrinologists, meanwhile, manipulated patients’ hormones to try to get the bodies of patients to do what they thought was necessary not just for physical health, but for psycho-social health (i.e., getting the body to look sexually “normal”)."

    http://www.isna.org/faq/concealment

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  15. To my intersex friend continued...

    So what was wrong with this model?

    To start with, lying to patients is not only unethical, it is bad medicine. Patients who were lied to figured that much out, and often stopped getting medical care they needed to stay healthy. (For example, some stopped taking hormone replacement therapy—critical after gonadectomy—and wound up with life-threatening osteoporosis at an early age.) They also suffered psychological harm from these practices, because they got the message that they were so freakish even their doctors could not speak the truth of their bodies to them. (A lot of doctors still have not told their present and former patients the name of their conditions. Some still withhold medical records from patients and from parents/guardians of minor children.)

    Second, the system was and is literally sexist: that is, it treats children thought to be girls differently than children thought to be boys. In this approach (still going on at Hopkins so far as we can tell), doctors’ primary concern for children thought to be girls is preservation of fertility (not sexual sensation), and for children thought to be boys, size and function of the phallus.
    Third, the “standards” used for genital anatomy have been arbitrary and illogical. For example, under the “optimum gender of rearing” model, boys born with penises doctors considered small were made into girls—even though other doctors believed (and showed) they could be raised as boys without castration, genital surgery, and hormone replacement. Girls with clitorises their doctors think are “too big” still find themselves in operating theatres with surgeons cutting away at their healthy genital tissue.

    Paradoxically, though all medical experts agree the identification of intersex anatomy at birth is primarily a psycho-social (not medical) concern, it is still treated almost exclusively with surgery. Parental distress is treated with the child being sent off to surgery. This is not an appropriate form of care for parents or children.

    There is no evidence that children who grow up with intersex genitals are worse off psychologically than those who are altered. In fact, there is evidence that children who grow up with intersex genitals do well psychologically. In other words, these surgeries happen before the age of assent or consent without real cause. “Ambiguous” genitalia are not diseased, nor do they cause disease; they just look funny to some people.”

    http://www.isna.org/faq/concealment

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  16. To my intersex friend continued...

    So what was wrong with this model?

    To start with, lying to patients is not only unethical, it is bad medicine. Patients who were lied to figured that much out, and often stopped getting medical care they needed to stay healthy. (For example, some stopped taking hormone replacement therapy—critical after gonadectomy—and wound up with life-threatening osteoporosis at an early age.) They also suffered psychological harm from these practices, because they got the message that they were so freakish even their doctors could not speak the truth of their bodies to them. (A lot of doctors still have not told their present and former patients the name of their conditions. Some still withhold medical records from patients and from parents/guardians of minor children.)

    Second, the system was and is literally sexist: that is, it treats children thought to be girls differently than children thought to be boys. In this approach (still going on at Hopkins so far as we can tell), doctors’ primary concern for children thought to be girls is preservation of fertility (not sexual sensation), and for children thought to be boys, size and function of the phallus.
    Third, the “standards” used for genital anatomy have been arbitrary and illogical. For example, under the “optimum gender of rearing” model, boys born with penises doctors considered small were made into girls—even though other doctors believed (and showed) they could be raised as boys without castration, genital surgery, and hormone replacement. Girls with clitorises their doctors think are “too big” still find themselves in operating theatres with surgeons cutting away at their healthy genital tissue.

    Paradoxically, though all medical experts agree the identification of intersex anatomy at birth is primarily a psycho-social (not medical) concern, it is still treated almost exclusively with surgery. Parental distress is treated with the child being sent off to surgery. This is not an appropriate form of care for parents or children.

    There is no evidence that children who grow up with intersex genitals are worse off psychologically than those who are altered. In fact, there is evidence that children who grow up with intersex genitals do well psychologically. In other words, these surgeries happen before the age of assent or consent without real cause. “Ambiguous” genitalia are not diseased, nor do they cause disease; they just look funny to some people.”

    http://www.isna.org/faq/concealment

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  17. To my intersex friend continued...

    The history of how the medical establishment has brutalized intersex children is, in my opinion, a disgrace beyond description. In many respects, the underlying social forces that lead to young intersex children undergoing surgery and hormones sure appears to me to be similar to what is happening today with gender non-conforming children. Little tomboys and effeminate boys are not intersex, but society and their worried parents force these children into something akin to a gender straight jacket. That is, cultural views of what is and is not appropriate feminine and masculine behavior.

    (1.) How is it possible to clearly diagnose “gender identity disorder” in five, six, or seven year old children? This is so subjective and ripe for abuse that it actually terrifies me.

    (2.) Do children who are given puberty suppressing drugs really understand what is happening to them? I seriously doubt it. When cross gender hormones are given right after the puberty suppressing drugs, fertility can be compromised. This is the sterilization of children.

    (3.) I’m offended and confused by this statement, "But the flipside of that is that *I* get to decide who and what I am. Not Dirt, and not a bunch of lesbians looking to beef up their numbers by co-opting the identities of others." First, there are some serious ethical issues involved in sterilizing children. By children, I mean all children not just young girls. Young gender non-conforming, effeminate boys are being slapped with a label of “gender identity disorder” and given puberty suppressing drugs too. If this is happening to little boys, then it’s just not a lesbian issue. Second, there is a large body of research that shows that many gender non-conforming children if left alone do grow up to be gay , lesbian, or bisexual. Apparently, my intersex friend sees no ethical issues involved in the chemical and surgical castration of gay men and lesbians.

    (4.) In countries such as Iran, there are credible accounts of gay men being coerced into sex reassignment surgery. Homosexuality is punishable by death, but the government will help pay for sex reassignment surgery. Google it.

    Lesbians are not the enemy. If anything, trans activists are co-opting the unique and rich history of intersex individuals for their own political agenda. Unfortunately, some people aren't astutue enough to recognize what is happening.

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  18. WHEN GIVEN TO PREGNANT WOMEN, THE USE OF DEXAMETHASONE DOES NOT CHANGE THE GENETICS. IT DOESN'T CURE ANYTHING. After they are born, both males and females with CAH will still need medical care. From what I gather, Dexamethasone is about engineering the perfect sized clitoris and eliminating unwanted "masculine characteristics" in females. It's my understanding that the amount of virilization can vary from a slightly enlarged clitoris to almost male looking genitals. What is the perfect sized clitoris? Does anyone know the answer to this question? Females still have ovaries and a uterus.

    The term congenital adrenal hyperplasia (CAH) encompasses a group of autosomal recessive disorders, each of which involves a deficiency of an enzyme involved in the synthesis of cortisol, aldosterone, or both. This group of diseases is due to mutations (genetic defects) in the genes coding for several enzymes needed to produce vital adrenal cortex hormones. About 95% of cases of CAH are caused because of lack of the enzyme 21-hydroxylase. When this enzyme is missing or at functioning at low levels, the body cannot make adequate amounts of two vital adrenal steroid hormones: cortisol and aldosterone. This causes disruption in the delicate balance of hormones. Sensing low levels of cortisol, the adrenal, directed by the master hypothalamus and pituitary glands, goes into high gear. Because cortisol production is impeded, the adrenal cortex instead manufactures androgens, or male steroid hormones, an undesired by-product. In short, while one part of the adrenal functions poorly, making inadequate amounts of cortisol and aldosterone, another portion of the gland over-produces androgens.

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  19. From Northwestern University...

    http://www.northwestern.edu/newscenter/stories/2012/08/dreger-fetal-engineering.html

    Dangerous Experiment in Fetal Engineering

    Report: risky prenatal use of steroid to try to prevent intersex, tomboys and lesbians

    August 2, 2012 by Marla Paul


    CHICAGO --- A new paper just published in the Journal of Bioethical Inquiry uses extensive Freedom of Information Act findings to detail an extremely troubling off-label medical intervention employed in the U.S. on pregnant women to intentionally engineer the development of their fetuses for sex normalization purposes.

    The paper is authored by Alice Dreger, professor of clinical medical humanities and bioethics at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine and is co-authored by Ellen Feder, associate professor of philosophy and religion at American University, and Anne Tamar-Mattis, executive director of Advocates for Informed Choice.

    The pregnant women targeted are at risk for having a child born with the condition congenital adrenal hyperplasia (CAH), an endocrinological condition that can result in female fetuses being born with intersex or more male-typical genitals and brains. Women genetically identified as being at risk are given dexamethasone, a synthetic steroid, off-label starting as early as week five of the first trimester to try to “normalize” the development of those fetuses, which are female and CAH-affected. Because the drug must be administered before doctors can know if the fetus is female or CAH-affected, only one in eight of those exposed are the target type of fetus.

    The off-label intervention does not prevent CAH; it aims only at sex normalization. Like Diethylstilbestrol (DES) -- which is now known to have caused major fertility problems and fatal cancers among those exposed in utero -- dexamethasone is a synthetic steroid. Dexamethasone is known -- and in this case intended -- to cross the placental barrier and change fetal development. Experts estimate the glucocorticoid dose reaching the fetus is 60 to 100 times what the body would normally experience.

    The new report provides clear evidence that:

    *For more than 10 years, medical societies repeatedly but ultimately impotently expressed high alarm at use of this off-label intervention outside prospective clinical trials, because it is so high risk and because nearly 90 percent of those exposed cannot benefit.
    *Mothers offered the intervention have been told it “has been found safe for mother and child” but in fact there has never been any such scientific evidence.
    *The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has indicated it cannot stop advertising of this off-label use as “safe for mother and child” because the advertising is done by a clinician not affiliated with the drug maker.
    *A just-out report from Sweden in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism documents a nearly 20 percent “serious adverse event” rate among the children exposed in utero.
    *Clinician proponents of the intervention have been interested in whether the intervention can reduce rates of tomboyism, lesbianism and bisexuality, characteristics they have termed “behavioral masculinization.”
    *The National Institutes of Health has funded research to see if these attempts to prevent “behavioral masculinization” with prenatal dexamethasone are “successful.”
    *The United States’ systems designed to prevent another tragedy like DES and thalidomide --involving de facto experimentation on pregnant women and their fetuses -- appear to be broken and ineffectual.

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  20. " I’m offended and confused by this statement, "But the flipside of that is that *I* get to decide who and what I am. Not Dirt, and not a bunch of lesbians looking to beef up their numbers by co-opting the identities of others." ...Apparently, my intersex friend sees no ethical issues involved in the chemical and surgical castration of gay men and lesbians. "

    Kind of a semantics question, isn't it? If an intersex person you might call a lesbian (like myself) does not agree that they are a lesbian, you can't really claim them for your team. Will you perform chromosomal checks on people? If exposure to androgens in the womb is capable of changing our genitals, why should I EVER believe that those changes are limited to the genital area? You think there is a magic shield around a baby's brain, keeping the effects of androgens from changing anything there? Now, I'd never tell anyone what they *must* be based on their body/clothes/mannerisms, but it seems as if you have no problem doing that based on something that can be very hidden in certain people, like chromosomal makeup.

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  21. "Kind of a semantics question, isn't it? If an intersex person you might call a lesbian (like myself) does not agree that they are a lesbian, you can't really claim them for your team. Will you perform chromosomal checks on people? If exposure to androgens in the womb is capable of changing our genitals, why should I EVER believe that those changes are limited to the genital area? You think there is a magic shield around a baby's brain, keeping the effects of androgens from changing anything there? Now, I'd never tell anyone what they *must* be based on their body/clothes/mannerisms, but it seems as if you have no problem doing that based on something that can be very hidden in certain people, like chromosomal makeup."

    Since the topic was CAH, I urge this person to read the article from Northwestern. I would like to see a CURE FOR CAH. The virilization of female fetuses is a byproduct of the genetic disorder which dexamethasone doesn't change. Atypical genitals don't kill people, but the other medical conditions associated with CAH might. Instead of drugging pregnant women, why not focus on a cure or better treatment?

    "Dexamethasone is controversial for several reasons. First of all, there are indications that dexamethasone may cause serious problems. Human studies have demonstrated that prenatal dexamethasone treatment results in detrimental changes to the brains of children. Children exposed to dexamethasone show problems with working memory, verbal processing, and anxiety. Animal studies have also indicated reason to be very concerned about prenatal dexamethasone’s effect on fetal brains. Adverse outcomes in animal studies include low placental weight, low birth weight, small head circumference, cleft palate, adrenal hypoplasia, thymic hypoplasia, hepatomegaly, late-onset hypertension, and impaired glucose tolerance. Some of the problems caused by prenatal dexamethasone treatment may not appear in humans until middle age.

    Secondly, only 1 out of 8 fetuses treated with dexamethasone stand to benefit at all from treatment. CAH is an inherited condition. Generally, women who are advised to take dexamethasone have already had one child with CAH, which means that they and their partners are carriers of the gene for CAH. But even if a couple has already had one child with CAH, there is only a 1 in 8 chance that a future pregnancy will be a female with CAH. To be effective, dexamethasone treatment must start very early in pregnancy, too early to tell if the fetus is an affected female. Since only a female fetus with CAH will develop atypical genitals, 7 out of 8 fetuses subjected to the risks of dexamethasone treatment for CAH have no chance of benefiting from the treatment. Many ethicists and doctors have raised serious ethical concerns about treating 7 unaffected fetuses in order to potentially benefit one."

    http://aiclegal.org/2010/06/27/statement-on-use-of-dexamethasone-in-pregnant-women-who-may-be-carrying-a-fetus-affected-with-cah/

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  22. "If an intersex person you might call a lesbian (like myself) does not agree that they are a lesbian, you can't really claim them for your team."

    This statement confuses me. A person’s sexual orientation isn’t that important to me. I really could care less one way or another. I have to admit that I feel rather uncomfortable discussing intersex because I’m not intersex. I don’t know how I managed to go off on a wild tangent that involves intersex individuals.

    "Now, I'd never tell anyone what they *must* be based on their body/clothes/mannerisms, but it seems as if you have no problem doing that based on something that can be very hidden in certain people, like chromosomal makeup."

    No, it would probably be more accurate to state that society constantly does this for us. I didn't invent this, and it has been going on for as long as humans have existed. Society by and large dictates what is considered appropriate "feminine" and "masculine behaviors". I went off on a wild tangent and brought up the horrific practice of genital surgery on intersex children in the 1960s as an example of how society in conjunction with medicine often forces sex stereotypical appearance and behavior on gender nonconforming people including infants. Because their genitals didn't match how society says they should look, intersex kids were subjected to surgery on their genitals. Sometimes multiple surgeries from almost infancy. Isn't this the brutal history? So, society essentially gets to dictate what is and isn't masculine and feminine, and it's carried out via a surgeon's scalpel. After all, we can't have people who don't fit in. When I read about five, six, or seven year old kids being diagnosed with "gender identity disorder" and pre-teens given puberty suppressing drugs, it sure seems like some of the same societal forces being played out. I guess this is why I went off on the wild tangent about intersex. Again, I'm not an expert on intersex, and I don't want to offend anyone.

    As to sex reassignment surgery, historically there have been times in which it has been used as a means of social control, specifically the erasing of gay and lesbian identity. There are numerous credible sources which state that this has happened in Iran.

    By the way, the Intersex Society of North America makes a distinction between transgender and intersex. It's transgender who are often co-opting intersex.

    http://www.isna.org/faq/transgender

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