Sunday, August 15, 2010

Brody's Notes... LA Times Reports: Medical Treatment Carries Possible Side Effect Of Limiting Homosexuality

Los Angeles Times Senior Staff Health Correspondent Shari Roan reports on a  hormonal treatment  that theoretically can influence postnatal behavior, not just genital differentiation.

A prenatal pill for congenital adrenal hyperplasia to prevent ambiguous genitalia may reduce the chance that a female with the disorder will be gay. Critics call it engineering for sexual orientation.
By Shari Roan (Los Angeles, California) Aug 15 | Each year in the United States, perhaps a few dozen pregnant women learn they are carrying a fetus at risk for a rare disorder known as congenital adrenal hyperplasia. The condition causes an accumulation of male hormones and can, in females, lead to genitals so masculinized that it can be difficult at birth to determine the baby's gender.
A hormonal treatment to prevent ambiguous genitalia can now be offered to women who may be carrying such infants. It's not without health risks, but to its critics those are of small consequence compared with this notable side effect: The treatment might reduce the likelihood that a female with the condition will be homosexual. Further, it seems to increase the chances that she will have what are considered more feminine behavioral traits.
That such a treatment would ever be considered, even to prevent genital abnormalities, has outraged gay and lesbian groups, troubled some doctors and fueled bioethicists' debate about the nature of human sexuality.

The treatment is a step toward "engineering in the womb for sexual orientation," said Alice Dreger, a professor of clinical medical humanities and bioethics at Northwestern University and an outspoken opponent of the treatment.
Continue reading at The LA Times: [Here


Trab said...

They should be engineering for intelligence, not whimsy.