Can a drug make you trans?
Women around the world are claiming a drug used by their mothers during pregnancy made them transgender.
In May, a television station in Florida investigated a drug called Diethylstilbestrol (DES), which was used by millions of women in the 1930s to early 1970s to prevent miscarriages and various female health problems.
The hormone has since been proven to cause cancer and several other serious side effects, but the station also found hundreds of women that claimed the drug made them transgender.
Dr. Dana Beyer, a transgender rights advocate, conducted research into the drug and found that lack of regulation and misinformation caused women to take the drug in massive quantities.
“Many of these women were being told they were given super vitamins,” Dr Beyer said.
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Women were advised to take the drug “as needed,” causing some to take dosages more than 50,000 times the estrogen of today’s birth control pills.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports a link between the drug and a certain type of vaginal cancer in the daughters of women who took it, as well as potential links to many other health problems.
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However, Dr Beyer’s study that alleges the drug can cause sons of DES mothers to be transgender is flawed.
The report is discredited because they were unable to get medical records from the 50s and 60s.
Some members of the trans community and medical professionals are also wary of the theory that a drug can cause gender identity issues.
Dr. Maxine Sutcliffe, a geneticist at John’s Hopkins All Children’s Medical Center, says a link could be possible, but believes it’s unlikely.
Other trans people feel these women are just trying to find a reason or explanation for their identity.
But Dr Beyer is satisfied that women around the world can feel “a little more normal,” due to her research.