Some doctors are now attempting to prevent intersex infants through off-label use of a synthetic steroid. This can, these physicians say, stop infant girls from being born lesbian or intersex (see below).
Here is a report on this bizarre Brave-New-Bigotry from The Advocate. (edited for length)
"A Northwestern University report details dangerous experiementation in fetal engineering in which doctors use a synthetic steroid to prevent female babies from being born with 'behavioral masculinzation', a propensity toward lesbianism, bisexuality, intersexuality, and tomboyism.
"The paper, published in the Journal of Bioethical Inquiry, is authored by Alice Dreger [and others, see below], professor of clinical medical humanities and bioethics at Northwestern. It 'details extremely troubling off-label medical intervention employed in the U.S. on pregnant women to intentionally engineer the development of their fetuses for [so-called] 'sex normalization' purposes.'
"According to the researchers, pregnant women 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, are being 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.
"Like DES, a drug widely given to pregnant women in the 1970s which was shown to cause cancer and reproductive abnormalities in children and is now banned, dexamethasone is a synthetic steroid. Researchers say that the dose reaching the fetus is 60 to 100 times what the body would normally experience and [yet] almost 90% of fetuses exposed do not benefit from it.
"[Many scientists] claim this is a dangerous experiment on pregnant women and their fetuses that may turn into a tragedy like the one experienced with DES. [Concerns include] reproductive abnormalities that [may] extend to second generations and higher rates of certain cancers."
Findings were obtained from professor Alice Dreger of Northwestern University's medical school, Ellen Feder of American University, and Anne Tamar-Mattis, executive director of Advocates for Informed Choice. They note that male fetuses may also be affected by the synthetic steroid.
"Intersex is the presence of atypical combinations of [congenital] physical features that usually distinguish female from male. An intersex individual may have male and female biological characteristics. Some people (whether physically intersex or not) do not identify themselves as either exclusively female or exclusively male."
Are American parents this uneasy?
Is our culture this cowardly, this averse to raising tomboys and lesbians that experimental time and dollars are considered well-spent...on this?