BOOM! Transgenderism and Endocrine Disruptors
A new study reveals what we all knew to be true anyway
A little while ago, I wrote a piece here about the lack of substantial studies of the effects of endocrine-disrupting chemicals on gender identity. The piece drew on an essay I’d written for American Mind called “The Gay Frogs Election,” in which, among other things, I thanked presidential candidate Robert F. Kennedy Jr. for saying publicly what we all suspect—know—to be true: that our growing exposure to endocrine disruptors is the cause, or one of the causes, of the explosion in cases of transgenderism we’re experiencing as a civilisation.
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Kennedy said this knowing full well that, although there is a huge body evidence substantiating the dire development effects of exposure to endocrine disruptors, especially for babies, children and teenagers, there really aren’t any studies that look at the potential direct link between exposure and gender dysphoria. Here’s what I said about this in “The Gay Frogs Election.”
What we really need is direct scientific research, but there’s virtually none at the moment. Go ahead and search Pubmed, one of the largest online databases of scientific research, for papers about possible links between gender dysphoria and chemicals like BPA, phthalates, and PFAS. I managed to find one paper which mentioned, in passing, that endocrine disruptors are “involved in sexual differentiation of the brain” and therefore may help “determine our gender identity or sexual orientation.” That was it. There’s absolutely nothing of substance—no epidemiological (population) studies, no case studies, no review articles suggesting potential new avenues for research in light of the massive body of existing data on endocrine disruptors. Nada. Zip.
I then went on to note that the standard “hostile” explanations of the rise of transgenderism—i.e. explanations that don’t take the utterances of transgender activists at face value—only mention social or psychological causes like having transgender friends or being mentally ill. Note that I’m not saying these aren’t valid contributing factors, because they clearly are. It’s a complicated phenomenon.
Instead, if people try to explain the growth of transgenderism as anything other than a spontaneous and sincere development (i.e., the result of a more accepting society allowing people, finally, to be what they really are), we see explanations involving social factors, and in particular social pressure of various different kinds, whether from “well-meaning” parents and educators, or among young people themselves. This is transgenderism-as-social-contagion, and it’s not much different from explanations for earlier crazes like self-harm, eating disorders, glue sniffing, or, if we go much further back, bizarre occurrences like the medieval St. Vitus’s dance. A study in the prestigious journal PLoS ONE in 2018 suggested that novel factors were to blame, especially social media and belonging to friendship groups that already had transgender-identifying people in them, usually in conjunction. There are also attempts to explain the rise of transgenderism in relation to the growth of mental illness more generally, like this 2014 study, which found that nearly 63 percent of sampled patients requesting gender reassignment had “at least one psychiatric comorbidity.” A third of patients suffered depression, 20.5 percent suffered a specific phobia, and 15.7 percent suffered from adjustment disorder.
Well guess what? We now have an actual study that links exposure to endocrine-disrupting chemicals to transgenderism. I can’t quite believe it. Maybe it will end up being retracted. At present, it hasn’t received any publicity at all—I found it browsing Pubmed, as I do—but if and when it does, it’s likely to annoy activists and the politically correct in the same way that social and psychological explanations do. This new study will definitely be going in to my new book The Last Men: Liberalism and the Death of Masculinity, which I will start writing very soon.
The study is published in the Journal of Xenobiotics and it considers the effects of exposure to the hideous estrogenic chemical diethylstilbestrol (a.k.a. DES) on the incidence of transgenderism among French children and teenagers. The researchers found a hugely increased prevalence of “female transgender identity” among French boys who were exposed to DES in utero. The prevalence may be as much as 100 times higher than the “background” rate across Europe.
Here’s what the article has to say about DES. I’ve left the references in so you can go straight to the cited papers if you wish.
It is well known that in utero exposure to DES, a compound with estrogenic and anti-androgenic activity, induces a wide range of reproductive tract/function abnormalities in the so-called ‘DES daughters’, e.g., alterations to Müllerian duct development, fertility problems, ectopic pregnancies, miscarriages, premature births and cancers, especially clear cell adenocarcinoma (CCA) of the vagina and cervix in girls and young women . In ‘DES sons’, epididymal cysts, hypospadias, cryptorchidism, hypoplastic testes and micropenises have been observed [22,23,24,25,26]. In addition, although less studied, in utero exposure to synthetic sex hormones, particularly DES, can cause psychological disorders, such as schizophrenia, bipolar disorders, eating disorders and suicidal behavior . Interestingly, some studies in patients exposed in utero to DES with psychotic disorders identified methylome changes that affect the expression of ZFP57 and ADAMTS9, two genes implicated in neurodevelopment regulation , with potential multigenerational and transgenerational effects [29,30].
DES was first synthesised and then marketed for use in the late 1930s. As an estrogenic, its first applications were all for women: treatment of gonorrheal vaginitis, atrophic vaginitis and menopause, and for suppression of post-birth lactation. Soon after, the drug was marketed to men for prostate-cancer treatment as well. DES was also used “off-label” as a means of preventing further miscarriages among women with a history of miscarrying.
Studies (like this one) very quickly threw doubt on many of the claims associated with the use of DES, especially with regard to preventing miscarriages, but the drug continued to be given to pregnant women for decades, as well as finding other uses, including as a “morning-after” pill and as a treatment for homosexuality. The famous cryptographer Alan Turing was forced to take DES to castrate himself, shortly before his death.
Oh yes, and before I forget, DES was also administered to livestock to fatten them up, until it was discovered that doing so was giving the animals cancer. This use was phased out in 1979 in the US.
Large numbers of children were exposed to DES in utero before the drug stopped being given to pregnant mothers. As a result, many suffered serious birth defects of the kind described in the quotation directly above.
The new study looks at a cohort of French boys who were exposed to DES in utero. What’s important about this study is that it compares sons from the same mothers: sons who were not exposed to DES in utero and sons who were. This allows the establishment of a comparable rate. Among the sons who were not exposed to DES, there were zero male-to-female transgenders, but among the sons who were exposed to the chemical, there were four.
These results indicate a massively increased prevalence of transgenderism.
If we consider the highest prevalence of transgender women reported in the literature (1/17,000) , the prevalence we observed in our study (1.58%) is 10- to 100-fold higher. Moreover, the prevalence of female transgender identity was 0% among the 148 elder non-exposed sons (AMAB) in the same informative families.
The study is limited, of course, by the fact it was small scale—we’re only talking about four out of 253 boys who were exposed to DES—but what it does, I think, is establish that further research into endocrine disruptors and transgenderism is warranted, even if only to disprove the findings (which of course won’t happen).
What I also found interesting about the study, and rather touching, is that it includes short biographies of each of the four boys who ended up changing their gender after being exposed to DES. Here’s the story of “Patient 2”:
Currently a composer (guitar and vocals), S. was born in 1969 after in utero exposure to DES. At birth, S. had male genitalia with unilateral cryptorchidism. S. started to question the assigned male gender at the age of 4 years: “I remember very clearly that when I was 3–4 years old, one day I went with my mother to a hairdressing salon and having looked at all the ladies, I thought: ‘When I grow up this is what I will do: I will be a woman’”.
During adolescence, S. felt he was a woman and had severe psychological disorders, particularly depression and suicidal ideation... As an adult, S. married and had two children. These two girls had prolactinoma, and one has Asperger’s syndrome, androgyny and ovarian cysts. S. began the transition with male to female gender reassignment surgery, in Brighton, United Kingdom (UK), in November 2015. Since then, S. has been receiving GAHT and is followed by the doctor who managed the transition. According to the UK Gender Recognition Act, S. could change their sex recorded on their birth certificate (male to female) and now, she lives in Scotland. Her elder sister, also exposed to DES in utero after her mother’s miscarriage, died due to vaginal adenocarcinoma during adolescence.
These short testimonies remind us that, behind the statistics, there are real people many of whom have been dealt a spectacularly unfortunate hand in life, through no fault of their own. They have suffered needlessly, without full understanding of the causes of their suffering. However much we may deplore the harmful effects of transgender ideology and activism, we can still, I hope, find it in our hearts to pity the unfortunate victims of drugs like DES and ensure others are spared their fate.