Does anyone want to join me at rolling my eyes, shaking my head, and possibly spluttering my coffee, at this?
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.
So far, so not terribly disturbing. Hey, we all like science (don’t we?) and I have no problems with them looking for the ‘gay gene’. It’s overwhelmingly likely that the results of such research will always be inconclusive so if it keeps certain sectors of the population satisfied to keep looking, let ’em at it.
But here’s the kicker. It seems that Dr. New is not carrying out this research for the sake of medical science…
In the same article, Meyer-Bahlburg suggests that treatments with prenatal dexamethasone might cause these girls’ behavior to be closer to the expectation of heterosexual norms: “Long term follow-up studies of the behavioral outcome will show whether dexamethasone treatment also prevents the effects of prenatal androgens on brain and behavior.”
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.
No, she wants to stop Teh Gay in its tracks. And not only that, she wants to experiment with treating pregnant women in order to lower the chances of their female children being gay or ‘unwomanlike’. (Low interest in babies and men is unwomanlike, by the way, for all you tarts out there who didn’t know that.) Will it work? Who the hell knows? All that science is gobbleygook to me. But that’s not the point. The point is that we actually have people who believe in trying to ‘gender normalise’ children. And we have financial investment in research by people who, obviously, subscribe to that agenda. And what are these gender norms, you ask? Well, according to Dr. New:
“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.”
Sweet Jesus. Someone needs to tell Dr. New and her colleagues that most enlightened people threw those ideas out the window circa 1972. And now for the irony. New is a woman. New is a woman in a heavily male-dominated industry. New is, in fact, one of the first women pediatric endocrinologists in the US. New is not, according to her own definition, gender normative. Yet she thinks it is viable and acceptable, and presumably desirable, to attempt to force gender norms on the unborn. I just don’t get it.