And while I wish this was something I was making up, sadly it's true.
It's some experimental drug, dexamethasone, and this doctor, Maria New, thinks she's doing a "good" thing by offering it to women who are pregnant to make sure their daughters grow up to express interest in "girly" pursuits - to avoid "behavioral masculinization" and make sure they don't grow up to be lesbians.
There is so much wrong with this, but I have to first rail against the consumerist context of the desire on anyone's part - any parent, any doctor - to tailor-order a child in the way we order a car, or lunch.
Already today, if you have a child via various assisted methods (like invitro), you can choose if you want to have a boy or girl.
And there are numerous tests you can have done while the baby is in utero to know if there are any genetic or chromosomal abnormalities.
And I suppose it's from this angle that Dr. New and her colleagues approach this new insurance-for-a-straight-gender-conforming-child medical intervention. They (and many others) equate homosexuality and gender non-conformity as abnormal - and thus something to eliminate.
But "abnormal" and "not conforming to the norm" is vastly different. (Being Gay is not a disease!)
This gets back to the whole Darwinian purpose for Gay people existing - the whole idea of gender non-conforming people enabling a culture and a society to think beyond the norms and move everyone forward. (This idea was explored in my post "Why are there Gay People?")
Dr. New and her drug are a bit like freaky science fiction that's become science fact, and it's sobering that we've yet again arrived at a place where humanity's science has outpaced our ethics, and just because we CAN do something doesn't mean we SHOULD do it.
Alice Dreger wrote about this, and she's spot-on:
Is having a child with a less-than-idealized identity or anatomy sometimes really hard? Yup. And when you sign up for parenting, that's part of what you're signing up for. You can't seriously expect your whole parenting experience to consist of softball trophies and bumper stickers that brag about your Honor Roll child. It is not your child's job in life to make you proud. It is your job to make your children proud of you as their parent.
Dan Savage wrote about Dr. New and her Drug Experiment, and he said it brilliantly:
So no more Elena Kagans, no more Donna Shalalas, no more Martina Navratilovas, no more k.d. langs, no more Constance McMillens—because all women must grow up to ... crank out babies, and do women's work. And the existence of adult women who are not interested in "becoming someone's wife" and "making babies" constitutes a medical emergency that requires us to treat women who are currently pregnant with a dangerous experimental hormone. Otherwise their daughters might grow up to, um, be nominated to sit on the Supreme Court, serve as cabinet secretaries, take 18 Grand Slam singles titles, win Grammies, and take their girlfriends to prom.
You can read more about this here at Dan Savage's The Stranger, and also Alice Dreger's article at Psychology Today.
It makes me want to scream - to rally - to FIGHT!
As Alice said,
But what do YOU think? Is there anything we can do about this - individually, and as a community of GLBTQ Teens and Allies?
Because I think we need to take action. We need our voices heard on this.
Because we Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer, Gender-Non-Conforming and Questioning people are important, necessary, and wonderful to have in our world. And we will NOT be erased!