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This Post Has Nothing to Do with Hillary Clinton…You’ve Been Warned

July 3, 2010

I used to have a general politics blog but gave that up a few years ago. I’m thinking of starting a new one so I don’t have to punish all you Hilary fans with my random musings about things having nothing to do with Hillary Clinton, but until I get a second blog up and running, you are certainly free to click away from these posts.

I saw this and nearly fell out of my chair:

Dr. Maria New has a new strategy for treating unborn fetuses: the use of a potentially dangerous steroid aimed at treating the effects of a rare congenital disorder that affects the adrenal gland, potentially consigning the future child to a lifetime regime of drugs.

[snip]

And yes, it gets worse. As columnist Dan Savage points out, Dr. New is also exploring the use of dexmethasone’s effects on future fetuses’ desires to explore “male careers” or have disinterest in becoming mothers

The majority of researchers and clinicians interested in the use of prenatal “dex” focus on preventing development of ambiguous genitalia in girls with CAH. CAH results in an excess of androgens prenatally, and this can lead to a “masculinizing” of a female fetus’s genitals. One group of researchers, however, seems to be suggesting that prenatal dex also might prevent affected girls from turning out to be homosexual or bisexual.

Pediatric endocrinologist Maria New, of Mount Sinai School of Medicine and Florida International University, and her long-time collaborator, psychologist Heino F. L. Meyer-Bahlburg, of Columbia University, have been tracing evidence for the influence of prenatal androgens in sexual orientation…. They specifically point to reasons to believe that it is prenatal androgens that have an impact on the development of sexual orientation. The authors write, “Most women were heterosexual, but the rates of bisexual and homosexual orientation were increased above controls . . . and correlated with the degree of prenatal androgenization.” They go on to suggest that the work might offer some insight into the influence of prenatal hormones on the development of sexual orientation in general. “That this may apply also to sexual orientation in at least a subgroup of women is suggested by the fact that earlier research has repeatedly shown that about one-third of homosexual women have (modestly) increased levels of androgens.” They “conclude that the findings support a sexual-differentiation perspective involving prenatal androgens on the development of sexual orientation.”

[snip]

In a paper published just this year in the Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences, New and her colleague, pediatric endocrinologist Saroj Nimkarn of Weill Cornell Medical College, go further, constructing low interest in babies and men—and even interest in what they consider to be men’s occupations and games—as “abnormal,” and potentially preventable with prenatal dex:

“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.” Nimkarn and New continue: “We anticipate that prenatal dexamethasone therapy will reduce the well-documented behavioral masculinization…”

It seems more than a little ironic to have New, one of the first women pediatric endocrinologists and a member of the National Academy of Sciences, constructing women who go into “men’s” fields as “abnormal.” And yet it appears that New is suggesting that the “prevention” of “behavioral masculinization” is a benefit of treatment to parents with whom she speaks about prenatal dex.

Male careers? What, you mean like MEDICINE? Irony alert! The woman conducting the research is a DOCTOR. You know, the career, which like law, used to only be available to the men-folk? And disinterest in being mothers? The assumption being that those who choose to not give birth have some sort of genetic issue or chemical imbalance? Here’s an idea for Dr. New and pals- how about just accepting people’s choices, even if perhaps they differ from your own?

Also, could this be any more stereotypical? It seems to infer that lesbians are just a bunch of men-wanna be’s. I really thought we had sort of moved past that. Guess not. I’m going to go out on a limb here but can the medical (and some in psych) research community stop treating homosexuality as a disease? This search for a genetic/hormonal/chemical basis for everything becomes tiresome. Maybe there is a genetic basis but no amount of Ivy League scientific research is going to be able to discount the role of the environment (including evolving social mores) plays in affecting sexuality.

I’m going to continue to part ways with my gay compatriots on the whole purely genetic “cause” for homosexuality. I know the gay community lives and breathes to promote this view and for all I know, maybe it is purely genetic. I certainly don’t have some special knowledge that no one else has. But then again, I don’t really find the whole obsessive quest for a cause to be the best use of research funds. But that’s just me.

I bet if we asked people to define what believe it means to be “gay” or “lesbian” we’d get about 50 different answers and that some of those answers may differ based upon gender. And I bet if some of the people we asked were academics, we’d get even more answers. It would seem that some in the medical research world define homosexuality very narrowly as “people who have sex with people of the same sex” and I would venture to offer that that’s a bit simplistic in this day and age. I was talking to a psychiatrist friend a few years ago and she made a comment that she had seen a huge uptick in the number of adolescent girls in her psychotherapy practice who considered themselves bisexual, even if some of them hadn’t had sexual relations with other girls/women. She said the same was not true for adolescent boys, where it was still seen as much more of a taboo to identify in any way with possibly being gay. The adolescent girls defined sexuality in general in a much more open and fluid way to include close friendships, etc. My point being (if you were wondering), that the sort of phenomena she mentioned doesn’t fit so neatly into the whole genetic theory of homosexuality and seems to argue that environment (including things like social acceptance and a more open view of gender roles and sexuality in general) can count as much as anything when describing who is and isn’t gay. That’s why I personally could care less what the “cause” is.

This constant quest for a way to prevent or cure homosexuality is damaging, particularly to young people who are struggling with issues of sexual orientation. It’s one thing when the rhetoric is coming from the likes of right wing Evangelical groups, but it’s a whole other thing when it comes from the hallowed halls of academia, where their work is granted instant legitimacy because they work under the guise of objective scientists.

But at the end of the day, I guess it all comes down to this- in the year 2010 why are we in the U.S. still so hung-up about anything involving the word “gay?”

39 Comments leave one →
  1. discourseincsharpminor permalink
    July 3, 2010 1:07 pm

    So, tell me Doctor New, what exactly is a male career. Up until relatively recently women did not work as a rule, so in theory, nearly all of the jobs out there are “male careers” though I personally have yet to see “penis” listed as a qualification on any job posting. As for not wanting children, I think there are far too many reasons why a woman – straight, gay, bi, whatever – would choose to not have a baby and theorizing that a pill is going to change that is asinine.

    The whole thing seems creepy – medicating fetuses so they don’t come out gay? A child can’t even be born without everyone being all hung up on her sexuality? It seems dangerous.

    • Kate permalink
      July 3, 2010 8:20 pm

      OK I think I have to jump into that discussion.

      I think the whole thing is meant diffrently then you think.

      The medication is supposed to get an “abnormal” (which in this case is science language) hormone level back to normal – for one reason and one reason only : to prevent the female fetus from developing masculinized genitals (it means preventing it from looking like this: http://www.dshs.state.tx.us/newborn/cah2.shtm)

      That kind of ambiguous genitals are proven to be a big psychological problem for rather many people who have it (Just imagine explaining to your boyfriend why exactly you look like a men down there – imagine he leaves you because he can’t handle it – imagine you are only 17).

      Now – of course along with all other potential side effects that are explored – there is also the one side effect among them that could alter the “abnormal” sexual orientation, back to normal.
      (again biology language: “abnormal” because it resulted out of an abnormal hormone level)
      —-exploring side effects is procedure.

      THat they went further then exploring side effects looking for cause and effect ecetera is typical curiosity of biologists and scientists in general. Of course it costs money but believe me more often than not you are stumbeling over extremely helpful things.
      There were many “senseless” scientific researchs that led to amazing “by -products”

      • July 3, 2010 8:30 pm

        I understand the issue about ambiguous genitals and I certainly am not making light of it, the problem I have is with the assumptions about masculine behaviors and sexual orientation and that goes well beyond the issue of finding a medication to help balance hormone levels.

        It is important to note, as you did, that some of the researchers were clearly just researching treatment or something to shed light on the medical issue of ambiguous genitalia but then *other* researchers have taken off in what I think is an absurd direction and that’s what I personally take issue with.

        And while scientific research often stumbles across helpful things along the way, they also at times use science to rationalize discrimination and inequality.

      • Kate permalink
        July 3, 2010 8:43 pm

        @stacy

        You are right – but I guess (as there is no other way to prevent ambiguous genitalia) we just have to weigh the options …and if I would have to make a chice regarding my own daughter I think I would go for the treatment (as soon as it is improved and approved of course), especially as I think that with the right education you can encourage your children to make a very free choice about sexual orientation and topics of interests (especially as your brain is changing and developing over time -which means:
        show your child the world and its brain will find the right way (- that is no joke and grounded in science)

      • discourseincsharpminor permalink
        July 4, 2010 4:26 pm

        The research regarding treating genital ambiguity I totally understand, but trying to “cure” future behaviors (which may or may not occur) that are seen as “too masculine” in utero – that’s a bit out there for me.

  2. July 3, 2010 2:04 pm

    I have read about this “doctor”, and I am simply lost for words.

    • Kate permalink
      July 3, 2010 8:29 pm

      I’m not sure if meant what is implied that she meant.
      Examine the statement more closely:

      “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.”

      -I think it is impossible to tell if she meant it like suggested by the article or if she was merely refering to the problems that come along with ambiguous genitalia.. – like:
      —psychological problems
      —not being accepted as a girl but counted and called as something
      in between

      … and in the end even if she meant it the way it was suggested by the article ( which would be indeed disturbing ) – the treatment itself is a very good thing
      (and don’t forget – there is probably more to being homosexual than this one hormone -the girl can turn out to be homosexual or bisexual)

      • July 3, 2010 8:41 pm

        Kate, I get that part. I don’t take issue with them trying to find a way to medically deal with the condition, but rather the big huge non-medical, social leap to masculine behaviors. Such a construct is a social one, not medical. Society determines what is acceptable behavior for men and women and it is fluid over time. And that effects how the researchers define “normal” and “abnormal” even with respect to what is considered masculine and feminine. I bet we all could disagree about how we define “femininity” in 2010 but several of the researchers who have taken their studies into a whole other direction, seem to have a very limited, stereotypical definition which informs (and I would argue perhaps taints) their analysis of their own research.

        I’ll be honest, some of it also smacks of heterosexism. At least to me.

        Now, I haven’t gone on the internet and searched out all Dr. New’s available research. Maybe I should, because perhaps some of it has been unfairly categorized, but based even on some of the quotes, I find some of the assumptions to be problematic. And of course, the idea that anyone would ever use this to prevent a girl from acting “masculine” (as opposed to merely trying to treat/prevent the development of ambiguous genitalia from CAH) is ethically problematic.

      • July 3, 2010 8:52 pm

        @Kate- so the prevention of behavioral masculinization is just an added plus to Dr. New? And the fact that she ends up, whether purposely or not, basically characterizing bisexuals/lesbians as little more than a group who exhibit certain behaviors capable of being prevented, isn’t a tad worrisome? Particularly given the second class status of said group?

      • Kate permalink
        July 3, 2010 9:25 pm

        “And the fact that she ends up, whether purposely or not, basically characterizing bisexuals/lesbians as little more than a group who exhibit certain behaviors capable of being prevented, isn’t a tad worrisome?”

        That is not what she said. Dr. New said that a fetus that has this “congenital disorder that affects the adrenal gland” develops (if the condition is not treated) ambiguous genitalia and according to studies the rate of homosexual orientation is increased among groups of patients with that condition.
        She did neither say that all gays and lesbians have certain stereotypes of behaviour nor did she say that being homosexual could be “prevented” that way.
        She merely said that the treatment results in a normal hormone level and could in some of the fetuses result in an altered sexual orientation…. here you also have to pay attention that she didn’t even say that all people with the conditions are homosexual she only mentioned an increased rate.

        She also didn’t say that this condition or an “abnormal” hormone level is the only reason for a person to be bisexual/homosexual.

        And, if you read very carefully you can draw the conclusion, that there have to be more factors that contribute to being homosexual/bisexual yourself
        because if hormones would be the only reason -all of those with “congenital disorder that affects the adrenal gland” would have to be homosexual/bisexual -and according to the article they are not.

        …so it is impossible to draw the conclusion that Dr. New
        “[…] ends up, whether purposely or not, basically characterizing bisexuals/lesbians as little more than a group who exhibit certain behaviors capable of being prevented[…]?”

      • Steve permalink
        July 4, 2010 11:00 am

        I think everyone understands that Kate, but as others have said, they’ve taken the research in a whole other direction and it would be irresponsible not to raise red flags. I did a quick google search of Dr. New’s work and one thing became clear- some researchers are appropriately looking into treatments/ways to prevent CAH but ethicists have been concerned with where New has been taking this and expanding on her thesis. So perhaps it’s not our reading of the implications that is incorrect Kate, but rather yours.

  3. Shirley E Ross permalink
    July 3, 2010 2:09 pm

    I am really upset. I honor the Jews who have lost their lives in Germany and around the world because of their race and religion. I do not believe we can afford to donate to anybody while we are so in debt. Helllllllooooooo! How do you think we got there. It’s like telling a spoiled teenager they can’t use their credit card. It’s disgusting to see how our politicians conduct their business.

  4. Steve permalink
    July 3, 2010 4:21 pm

    Unbelievable. What, is Dr. New a closet-case or something? She wants to get to the bottom of what makes girls/women choose “male” professions? It’s 2010, there really shouldn’t be any talk of male vs. female professions. How old is she? She seems stuck back in 1920 in terms of ideas about gender- she hits all the stereotypes. So she thinks girls should wear pink and play with dolls and boys should shoot guns and wear blue and grow up to work in a “masculine” profession?

    I hope our tax dollars aren’t going to fund her shitty research.

  5. Tovah permalink
    July 3, 2010 4:22 pm

    I love the bit about “behavioral masculinization”- academic-research-speak for bullshit.

    • discourseincsharpminor permalink
      July 3, 2010 4:41 pm

      LOL.

    • Kate permalink
      July 3, 2010 8:36 pm

      actually that is science language.

      There are studies that by now are so extensive that it is considered proven that a majority of boys and girls have certain preferences like dolls and cars, pink and blue, -well you get the picture.
      this is caused not only by education but also by a certain diffrence in the areas of the brain that are most active (of course this dffrence could have been caused by centurys of education-but that is speculation)
      —-so this is what is considered “normal” in terms of feminine and
      masculine – so “behavioral masculinization” is academic language
      for a shifting in behavior and preference in girls, in this case
      caused by biology

      • SpfcMarcus permalink
        July 4, 2010 11:12 am

        Some people will rationalize anything so long as it has important-sounding medical mumbo-jumbo and they can condescend to use idiots who don’t have medical backgrounds. Clearly those of us who think this is bullshit just don’t understand this important research as rationalized and interpreted by Kate.

        How do you explain New’s characterization of a preference for masculine career preferences and what the hell does that have to do with anything?

        If I’m reading the negative reactions of people here in the comments correctly the worry is with how this information could be used given here in the grand old US we generally discriminate against gay people.

      • Kate permalink
        July 4, 2010 7:22 pm

        “the worry is with how this information could be used given here in the grand old US we generally discriminate against gay people.”
        – I don’t know how anyone could use it to discriminate homosexuals.
        Discrimination of homosexuals based on the results of that research would be absurd and even people who only had basic biology in school would know that those results neither suggest that being homosexual is caused by hormones nor that it suggest that it is caused by genome.

        “How do you explain New’s characterization of a preference for masculine career preferences and what the hell does that have to do with anything?”
        —it has something to do with the topic because it is biologically in certain ways linked to it and couriosity led the scientists to dig deeper
        —and it is a fact that certain hormones influence certain brain areas which leads to certain prefernces
        -> that fact is already known for a long time and of course it is wrong if someone would try to abuse that knowledge

        If at all the study (and the expanded thesis) proves that there is much more to being homosexual than biology-and therefore being homosexual is nothing you can cure and nothing that needs to be cured.

        “Some people will rationalize anything so long as it has important-sounding medical mumbo-jumbo and they can condescend to use idiots who don’t have medical backgrounds. Clearly those of us who think this is bullshit just don’t understand this important research as rationalized and interpreted by Kate.”

        1)there is no such thing as medical mumbo-jumbo
        2)there is nothing to interprete -> if you want knowledge you need to do research and if scientists would have stoped everytime you said: Hold it! Too dangerous! Too difficult!!
        or simply: forget it it is only medical mumbo-jumbo!!
        -> than you would neither have transplantations nor cytostatica today nor stemcell research (which has the potential of saving many lives)
        3)”bullshit” -is not a word that belongs into a discussion about science
        ——

  6. July 3, 2010 4:33 pm

    She’s just given the right wing homophobes a new weapon in their “we can cure you of being gay!” arsenal.

    So I guess she can tell parents that if they want to make sure their kids aren’t gay, then all the pregnant woman has to do is get shot up with some dex and her kids will be straight as arrows! Does it also make them blond-haired, blue-eyed specimens of perfection?

    So much for “first do no harm.”

    • discourseincsharpminor permalink
      July 3, 2010 4:45 pm

      It makes you wonder if they’ve even thought of “first do no harm.” Nothing is ever that simple. I hate to think of children being damaged by something their parents have antiquated views on before they take their first breath. This is disgusting.

  7. July 3, 2010 4:42 pm

    Female fetuses are already under attack in some countries where male babies are more desirable (e.g., India and China). This doctor’s work sounds like medical experimentation based on strong biases regarding gay behavior and females. She hasn’t tested on any female human fetuses, has she?? I hope not.

    And considering that I have a degree in mechanical engineering and just finished watching my 2nd World Cup game of the day, I suppose I am one of those women considered quite “abnormal” by this doctor🙂

    • July 3, 2010 4:47 pm

      Yeah you lesbian! Go take a cooking class and a be a nurse like me! Stop watching soccer- it’ll make you gay and whatever you do, don’t start playing SOFTBALL because we all know where that leads! [for the record, I think I smash Dr. New’s entire research hypothesis- a gay nurse lawyer…who played with DOLLS growing up and played lacrosse instead of SOCCER! HA!]

      I will say that the article is a little hysterical about dexamethasone, which they make out to be the steroid-equivalent of cisplatin, which its not. But then again, steroids do wreak havoc with your system, particularly if given over a long period of time.

      • Tovah permalink
        July 3, 2010 4:49 pm

        ROTFL! Good thing Dr. New wasn’t around when you were in the womb.

        We are giving her research the reception it deserves- mockery.

  8. July 3, 2010 4:52 pm

    You know what scares me about this, my mother was exactly the type of person who would have taken the drug. And all joking aside, while most people in this comment section clearly don’t have a problem with gay folks, a lot of people do and I think that if there was a drug announced tomorrow that someone peddled to “prevent” their kids from being gay, even good card-carrying liberals would be stocking up on it (secretly). A lot of liberals don’t mind gay people but if given the choice, I bet they’d prefer their kids were straight.

  9. Steve permalink
    July 3, 2010 5:00 pm

    My son is gay and this kind of stuff pisses me off. As an academic it pisses me off to see such bullshit being given serious consideration by the likes of Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences. It seems like this science is being colored by subjective assumptions. If they find certain hormonal or chemical deficiencies in some people fine but then to make some of the gendered associations that she does (masculine behavior, lack of interest in being a parent, being a lesbian) seems really questionable.

    I watched everything my son had to put up with in junior high but I’d never ever do anything to change what he is. The answer is not to find a “cure” to homosexuality, it’s to find a cure to all the hate and prejudice surrounding it.

    • July 3, 2010 5:04 pm

      Well that’s my problem with it. I can’t speak to veracity of her scientific findings but it seems like she’s going into it with a predetermined view of what is normal and abnormal [socially] and that its affecting her whole analysis. Lets be honest, if she clearly didn’t think “masculinized behaviors” were negative and if she didn’t think being a lesbian or choosing not to have children was abnormal, then what would her point be with all this? I don’t think she’d have one.

  10. HillaryFan permalink
    July 3, 2010 7:52 pm

    Speaking of gender, did you see this photo of Michael J? My God, he looks more like a woman than most women do:

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/tvshowbiz/article-1289158/Michael-Jackson-picture-auction-LaToya-insists-death-murder.html

    • July 3, 2010 7:56 pm

      *sigh* I remember when Off the Wall came out (ok, I’m dating myself). What happened? He just got weirder and weirder. I mean, if he wants to look traditionally feminine, more power to him, but everything he seemed to do was so extreme. He apparently had eye liner tatoo’d onto his eyes?!?

      Such a talented guy. Very sad.

  11. July 3, 2010 8:59 pm

    Just an FYI, I saw this over on a bioethics forum – it turns out Dr. New has been keeping bioethicists busy by giving them a lot to talk about. This is an excerpt from a commentary by Professors Alice Dreger, Ellen K. Feder, Anne Tamar-Mattis:
    ***
    “In a previous Bioethics Forum post, Alice Dreger noted an instance of a prospective father using knowledge of the fraternal birth order effect to try to avoid having a gay son by a surrogate pregnancy. There may be other individualized instances of parents trying to ensure heterosexual children before birth. But the use of prenatal dexamethasone treatments for CAH represents, to our knowledge, the first systematic medical effort attached to a “paradigm” of attempting in utero to reduce rates of homosexuality, bisexuality, and “low maternal interest.”

    Researchers working on an interesting project tend to suggest how their work could have broader implications. This is no exception: the 2008 paper by Meyer-Bahlburg et al hints that variation in sexual orientation beyond the population of girls with CAH might also be partly explainable through prenatal androgen exposure. Such reasoning could lead to the pursuit of other “screening” and “treatment” methods for manipulating intrauterine environments.

    While everyone has been busy watching geneticists at the frontier of the brave new world, none of us seem to have noticed what some pediatricians are up to. Perhaps it is because so many people are fascinated by the idea of a “gay gene” that prenatal “lesbian hormones” have slipped past public scrutiny. In any case, we think Nimkarn and New’s “paradigm for prenatal diagnosis and treatment” suggests a reason why activists for gay and lesbian rights should be wary of believing that claims for the innateness of homosexuality will lead to liberation. Evidence that homosexual orientation is inborn could, instead, very well lead to new means of pathologization and prevention, as it seems to be in the case we’ve been tracking.

    Needless to say, we do not think it reasonable or just to use medicine to try to prevent homosexual and bisexual orientations. Nor do we think it reasonable to use medicine to prevent uppity women, like the sort who might raise just these kinds of alarms. Consider that our declaration of our conflict of interest.

    Alice Dreger is a professor of clinical medical humanities and bioethics at Northwestern University’s Feinberg School of Medicine. Ellen K. Feder is an associate professor and acting chair of American University’s Department of Philosophy and Religion. Anne Tamar-Mattis, an attorney, is the executive director of Advocates for Informed Choice, which employs legal advocacy to support the rights of children with intersex conditions or disorders of sex development.

  12. Carolyn-Rodham permalink
    July 4, 2010 3:00 am

    Well I’ll be damned! Hillary is trying to crack thst last and highest glass ceiling to a “masculine” job (at least in North America). Somebody better race right over to the State Department and deliver the good news: Hillary, you have CAH and with just a few anti-androgen treatments, you should be right as rain, give up your ambitions to join that exclusive male club on Pennsylvania Ave and grt back home where you belong, girl, taking care of Chelsea like a good
    mommy should. Oh wait…Chelsea’s in FINANCE, isn’t she? Ruh-roh. Better check her for CAH, too, while you’re at it, Hill. And move up the wedding date before her fiance freaks out that she earns more than he does. But what about all us contented bisexuals? Hmm, which half of our sexuality to blot out…?
    And so forth and so on.

    • July 4, 2010 9:19 am

      You better run on down and get your levels checked too, given the profession you are in! Because, you know, you clearly had no choice in the matter…

      • Carolyn-Rodham permalink
        July 4, 2010 11:38 am

        And here I was blaming it all on my mother! I outta get my head examined. I mean, my congenital adrenal hyperplasia…

        • July 4, 2010 11:51 am

          Oh, I think you can still blame much of it on your mother, particularly if you’re a believer in Sigmund Freud I know I do mine…

          Heh heh.

          I know he’s a guy and New’s research was only focused on girls/women (of course), but come to think of it, maybe Freud’s hormones were a bit…oh, never mind.

  13. SpfcMarcus permalink
    July 4, 2010 7:28 pm

    Hey Kate, could you be a little bit more arrogant? You’re interpretation isn’t the only valid one, so stop acting like the rest of us are a bunch of idiots for disagreeing with you. Based on that ethics excerpt from Stacy a ways up, it looks like we’re not the only ones that think Dr. New’s work is troubling in some ways.

    You sound like someone who looks at medical science as not a field of study, but as some paternalistic God that should never be questioned.

    • Kate permalink
      July 4, 2010 8:48 pm

      I really get the feeling that you don’t get what I mean

      “Hey Kate, could you be a little bit more arrogant? You’re interpretation isn’t the only valid one, so stop acting like the rest of us are a bunch of idiots for disagreeing with you. Based on that ethics excerpt from Stacy a ways up, it looks like we’re not the only ones that think Dr. New’s work is troubling in some ways.
      You sound like someone who looks at medical science as not a field of study, but as some paternalistic God that should never be questioned”

      – I do not act like you’re a bunch of idiots (and I for sure don’t think that you are a bunch of idiots).
      – I do not interprete. I just name the facts that are in the article
      – I already said that if abused it can of course be considered troubeling
      – I assure you I look at medical science as well as biology, chemistry, physics and everything else as a field of study

      “paternalistic God that should never be questioned”

      – what ever gave you that impression????????????????????????????
      I merely say that just because we are afraid that something could one day turn out to have the potential of being misused we cannot just stop conducting research in certain scientific fields. Especially as we are living in a civilised world that has not only the public but also political, scientifical and social rules and regulations that can prevent a particular discovery from being used ;-just like it is done with medical drugs that turn out to have too intense side effects – you prohibit the distribution but you keep the “blue print” – because maybe later it will help to solve another scientific problem. In that way everything is ethical correct and you do not waste chances.
      –which equates to science being questioned

    • discourseincsharpminor permalink
      July 4, 2010 9:03 pm

      SpfcMarcus, I’m with you.

  14. Kate permalink
    July 4, 2010 10:18 pm

    took me a while to find the english version:

    http://www.michigan.gov/documents/cah_79196_7.pdf

    there is more to CAH than just an ambiguous genitalia.

    And in the link you posted the following is said:
    “But while the prenatal treatment may address girls’ physical symptoms, it does not prevent the underlying, medical condition, which in some severe cases can be life-threatening, nor does it preclude the need for medication throughout life.”

    That means in that way you avoid the risks of surgery and the psychological risk …however the risk that the child might get severly ill or dies is not yet under control…

    – doesn’t the risk that a child might die from this condition justifies research of that topic in whatever direction, in order to cure this illness (illness in a biological sense ) … even if it means that things like behavioural differences are topics that necessarily come up in the process?
    Just imagine because someone says she should stop conducting research in that direction, she overlooks something that could save those children.

  15. hymie permalink
    August 1, 2010 6:31 pm

    Think the good doctor is chummy with Larry Summers?

    Recall the American Academy of Pediatrics initial decree that just a “nick” of a little girl’s genitalia could satisfy “cultural practice” of mutilation.

    Is there a one word term that specifically covers prejudice against the LGBTQ community that does not have a specific reference to sex or sexual orientation?

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