June 30, 2010

Miracle Cure for Lesbianism!

Know what sounds like a good idea?

Giving an experimental medicine known to cause birth defects to pregnant mothers, with the goal of treating not the underlying disease they're worried about, but the risk of daughters becoming tomboyish or queer.

The story centers around Dr. Maria New, who's been giving the experimental medication dexamethasone (dex) to pregnant women concerned their child might have congenital adrenal hyperplasia (CAH, an adrenal condition that results sometimes in intersexuality in girls, rarely in death, sometimes in life-long medication, but has also been associated with tomboyishness and lesbianism) without informed consent. It's not approved for use by pregnant women, it doesn't cure CAH so much as reduce some of the masculinization associated with it, and there are studies showing that it results in birth defects in animals.

See, children with CAH don't play with dolls as much as girls without it, and express less interest in getting married or having children as they grow up. Obviously, these terrible symptoms need to be dealt with, so the baby can be sure to grow up appropriately girly.

"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."

-- Dr. Maria New

The Bilerico Project has a much more in-depth and less sarcastic analysis on the ethics of trying to treat sexual orientation and gender identity as an illness. I'll be over here incredulously wondering how playing with dolls got to be considered a medical symptom.

No comments: