You know how in Gattaca doctors used hormones to control the personalities of fetuses, ensuring a creepily uniform generation of “perfect” people, like the guy who plays Ethan Hawke’s brother in the movie? Well, now there is a doctor who is attempting to do something similar by eradicating non-“feminine” traits in female fetuses—an “abnormal” disinterest in babies, not wanting to play with girls’ toys or become mothers, “career preferences” that are deemed too “masculine”—and she’s this week’s Douchebag Decree recipient. Dr. Maria New, come on down!
That’s right—Pediatric endocrinologist Maria New, of the Mount Sinai School of Medicine and Florida International University, is using a hormonal drug called dexamethasone, or “dex”, to regulate prenatal androgens in female fetuses that may have a form of congenital adrenal hyperplasia (CAH). What this means in terms us non-endocrinologists can understand is that New is hoping this hormone therapy will eradicate female tendencies toward childlessness, masculine career choices, and even bisexuality or homosexuality. The real breakdown? New and her colleagues want to prevent females from being “too masculine” starting in the womb.
I don’t mind getting this Douchebag Decree because douchebags are traditionally feminine!
Apparently, some people would rather experiment with a risky and potentially dangerous drug than have to live with a daughter who doesn’t want to have children or who is *gasp!* a lesbian. Dr. New, with her “Dex” is offering some assholes the opportunity to police non-normative gendered behavior before a baby is even born. This is fucking ridiculous.
Since I am decidedly not a doctor (you know, the way New is, even though she is trying to discourage women from choosing “masculine” careers) I will leave you with some further reading on this drug and its unbelievably shitty and terrible potential outcomes. And Dr. Maria New, I will leave you with a Douchebag Decree.
• “Preventing Homosexuality (and Uppity Women) in the Womb?” from Bioethics Forum
• To Have is to Hold” from Psychology Today