ouate de phoque

Date: 2010-07-01 07:55 pm (UTC)
etb: (latin stun maths)
From: [personal profile] etb

(no subject)

Date: 2010-07-02 12:25 am (UTC)
miang: Miang Hawwa (with Opiomorph), Xenogears: May God's love be with you (and there's nothing I can do). (Default)
From: [personal profile] miang
I'm starting to wish Alice Dreger would just stop writing.

(no subject)

Date: 2010-07-02 03:19 am (UTC)
miang: Miang Hawwa (with Opiomorph), Xenogears: May God's love be with you (and there's nothing I can do). (Default)
From: [personal profile] miang
Totally not the argument I would have made, but it's a fair question nonetheless. :) And I would say, to my limited knowledge, that CAH would still be considered a problem by the medical establishment given the other (non-sexual) complications associated with it, but that the condition, treatment, and/or prevention probably wouldn't be drawing the kind of attention it has lately. What else is new...

I'm getting more annoyed by Dreger by the day because she's taking the Fox News approach to some serious and sensitive issues. I'd really like to see an honest assessment of whether (and *why!*) these researchers are acting in contravention of AAP guidelines; after the last CAH-related dustup, I'm trying my hardest to remain neutral and non-defensive while I seek out information. Instead, I get the same sensationalist crap and bait-and-switch quoting she pulled last time, and not only does it frustrate me to no end, it actively makes me want to foreclose on the information and defend the research from her interpretation of it! If New really said "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," there's no way to salvage that. The problem is, because Dreger's the source, not only can I not trust that New said it, I can't even be certain the original quote wasn't more like "The challenge here is to support the future development of the baby, without succumbing to overzealous parents' wishes to see what could be done..." (She mischaracterized some of Meyer-Bahlburg's work in a similar way, which is not to say that he's free of judgmental/problematic language himself -- but I think he comes by his linguistic missteps honestly rather than from serious misogyny.)

The more I think about it, the Fox News comparison is really quite apt. And like many of their celebrity "journalists," I'm hoping Dreger enjoys her 15 minutes and then gets the hell out of the spotlight so someone who can actually handle scientific reporting can start doing the heavy lifting on medical ethics.
Edited (Everyone should type good, like what I do :P) Date: 2010-07-02 03:25 am (UTC)

(no subject)

Date: 2010-07-02 04:59 pm (UTC)
etb: (latin stun maths)
From: [personal profile] etb
I downloaded one of the papers quoted (Nimkarn and New) and Dreger's quotes don't seem misleading.
"Without prenatal therapy, masculinization of external genitalia in females is potentially devastating. It carries the risk of wrong sex assignment at birth, difficult reconstructive surgery, and subsequent long-term effects on quality of life. Gender-related behaviors, namely childhood play, peer association, career and leisure time preferences in adolescence and adulthood, maternalism, aggression, and sexual orientation become musculinized* in 46,XX girls and women with 21OHD deficiency. These abnormalities have been attributed to the effects of excessive prenatal androgen levels on the sexual differentiation of the brain and later on behavior."
* this was quoted as "masculinized" in Dreger's piece

So New considers instances of insufficiently ~feminine~ behavior to be "abnormalities".

Another charming bit from the paper:
"However, this pilot study did find increased internalizing behavioral traits, including shyness, contrasting with the more aggressive behavior in females with 21-OHD CAH who did not receive prenatal dexamethasone."

(no subject)

Date: 2010-07-02 05:16 pm (UTC)
miang: Miang Hawwa (with Opiomorph), Xenogears: May God's love be with you (and there's nothing I can do). (Default)
From: [personal profile] miang
Thank you for that link; that was one paper I hadn't read. And having done so now, I would agree it does not make New look good.

What I find most interesting is that her approach describes these CAH-related differences as "problems" and "abnormalities"; at the end of that first section you quoted, she cites two of Meyer-Bahlburg's papers. But he takes what I consider to be a much more neutral approach in his writing; his paper on lower childbearing rates in women with CAH basically amounts to "Huh; apparently they just don't want to! Maybe it's due in part to their fetal environment; wouldn't that be interesting?" I found it refreshing, at least, but that was admittedly after Dreger's piece had led me to assume it was going to be some nasty antifeminist screed -- Meyer-Bahlburg, at least, seemed interested in pondering whether treating for CAH (with dex or otherwise) in utero would change the behavior of the women as adults, but I don't think he was advocating for the latter as a positive consequence.

New, on the other hand, just might -- especially if you throw in her comments to the CARES Foundation, though I really wish I could source that beyond "it's on a videotape that we have."

At any rate, thanks. And yikes.


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