Tuesday 18 January 2011

Gender Issues & DES

DES Action Australia-NSW has received 3 enquiries from DES sons with gender variance issues and with very heart-rending stories. With the organisation's limited media exposure and with having fielded 1500 enquiries, this does appear significant. It should be acknowledged that it also takes tremendous courage for these enquirers to phone our organisation (outside their direct care) about their situations.

We know from animal studies that DES and other oestrogens affect the development of sex-dimorphic brain structures and behaviour. Exposed to hormones in the womb at critical stages, animals exhibit behaviours of the opposite sex after birth. Researchers are starting to notice higher-than-expected rates of transgenderism in DES sons and daughters.

Scott Kerlin, of DES Sons International, has compiled Prenatal Exposure to Diethylstilbestrol (DES) in Males and Gender-Related Disorders: Results from a 5-Year Study (2005). This study shows high prevalence of individuals with confirmed or strongly suspected prenatal DES exposure who self-identify as male-to-female transexual or transgender, and individuals who have reported experiencing difficulties with gender dysphoria. Australia was included as a nation of origin in this sample study. An earlier version of this paper is found at www.antijen.org/transadvocate/id33.html

There has been no scientific literature published on this specific topic. The lack of interest/will so far is surprising in view of increased concerns about chemicals that bind to oestrogen receptors in humans and animals.

Details for DES Sons International: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/des-sons/
Reference for this blog item: The Riddle of Gender: Science, Activism, and Transgender Rights (p 16,17) 2005, Deborah Rudacille ISBN 0-375-42162-9.

As part of DES Awareness Week June1-7 in 2011, DES Action Australia-NSW sent DES information to transgender and LGBT groups and publications in Australia. As a result, it was learned that DES was also given to people undergoing sexual transition male to female. Questions have now been raised regarding possible long-term risks of this DES usage.

There is controversy about the off-label usage of the drug dexamethasone during pregnancy, and in particular for women at risk for having a child with Congenital Adrenal Hyperplasia (CAH). CAH can cause ambiguous genitals and atypical sex anatomy in females. Dexamethasone is thought to reduce the odds of virilisation occurring. See article http://www.theatlantic.com/health/archive/2013/01/ivf-on-steroids-the-dangerous-off-label-use-of-dex-during-pregnancy/267187/#.UPbCw9dEASQ.facebook

UPDATE 11/8/13
Listen to "Letter from a DES Survivor", by Larry Murphy, a DES Son Testimonial on @SoundCloud:
DES Son Testimonial 

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