Medical treatment carries possible side effect of limiting homosexuality

From The LA Times:,0,5576220.story

A prenatal pill for congenital adrenal hyperplasia to prevent ambiguous genitalia may reduce the chance that a female with the disorder will be gay. Critics call it engineering for sexual orientation.

By Shari Roan, Los Angeles Times

August 15, 2010

Each year in the United States, perhaps a few dozen pregnant women learn they are carrying a fetus at risk for a rare disorder known as congenital adrenal hyperplasia. The condition causes an accumulation of male hormones and can, in females, lead to genitals so masculinized that it can be difficult at birth to determine the baby’s gender.

A hormonal treatment to prevent ambiguous genitalia can now be offered to women who may be carrying such infants. It’s not without health risks, but to its critics those are of small consequence compared with this notable side effect: The treatment might reduce the likelihood that a female with the condition will be homosexual. Further, it seems to increase the chances that she will have what are considered more feminine behavioral traits.

That such a treatment would ever be considered, even to prevent genital abnormalities, has outraged gay and lesbian groups, troubled some doctors and fueled bioethicists’ debate about the nature of human sexuality.

The treatment is a step toward “engineering in the womb for sexual orientation,” said Alice Dreger, a professor of clinical medical humanities and bioethics at Northwestern University and an outspoken opponent of the treatment.

The ability to chemically steer a child’s sexual orientation has become increasingly possible in recent years, with evidence building that homosexuality has biological roots and with advances in the treatment of babies in utero. Prenatal treatment for congenital adrenal hyperplasia is the first to test — unintentionally or not — that potential.

Continue reading at:,0,5576220.story

This CAH is a referred to as a rare disorder.  It seems as though the cure they are seeking is not for CAH but rather for lesbianism.  Never mind how this sounds like something cooked up by Dr. Mengele, why should lesbianism be something in need of a cure?

On digging deeper the little Mengeles doing this research seem very concerned about cranking out “feminine” girls who will grow up accepting their feminine lot in life.

This starts raising all sort of question regarding the ethic of the Mengeles proposing this.

Would they say support a medication that could prevent autism, a rather frequent birth disorder if it say had a side effect of causing a 100% likelihood of the infant being born gay or lesbian.

When living in a world where right wing religious fanatics wield so much power it is reasonable to not only question proposed treatments for the genocide of lesbians in utero but to ask if these same researchers might not have played a role in the spread of AIDS.

There I have said it…  Given voice to the paranoid conspiracy question my gay male friends and I first asked when the Dispensationalist/Dominionist Taliban Christians first came to power and nearly immediately gay men started dying left and right while the right wingers in power did next to nothing to deal with it.

Just Say No to Pre-Natal Genocide of LGBT/TQI People

‘Gender bending’ chemical in food tins may cut male fertility

Wonderfully stupid Benny Hill phrasing aside (gender bending) I found this interesting article in The Daily Mail

By David Derbyshire
Last updated at 10:34 AM on 5th August 2010

A ‘gender bending’ chemical in food and drinks containers could be behind rising male infertility, scientists say.

Men with high levels of Bisphenol A (BPA) in their bodies are more likely to have low sperm counts, according to a study.

BPA is widely used to harden plastics and is found in baby bottles, CD cases, plastic knives and forks and the lining of food and drink cans.

The chemical mimics the female sex hormone oestrogen and interferes with the way hormones are processed by the body.

Although some animal studies have shown it is safe, others have linked it to breast cancer, liver damage, obesity, diabetes and fertility problems.

Experts estimate BPA is detectable in more than 90 per cent of people.

Posted in Chemical Pollution, Ecology, Food, Intersex, Science/Biology. Comments Off on ‘Gender bending’ chemical in food tins may cut male fertility

Bizarre Intersex Claims

(The bizarre, sometimes deranged claims that people make to be intersex, when in fact they are transsexual)


Andrea Brown

There are a minority of transsexual people who claim to have some sort of intersex condition in terms of there body organs.  This article outlines the characteristics of some intersex conditions and explains why such claims are unfounded.

People claiming to have fathered children then suddenly claim to have had a

spontaneous sex change, found an ovary, uterine tissue or uterus in surgery

are liars or deluded and may require psychiatric help, which transsexual

people normally do not require.

Some transsexual people claim that a surgeon has found a small vaginal canal when performing surgery. That is pure fantasy. Check Medline, nothing is there. If that were occurring, it would be available in the literature.

It is also common for them to claim that they have found an ovary. Again that does not occur.

If a person has two testicles, even if they are undescended, there is no ovary.

The only possible combinations are, two testes, a testis and an ovary (so

rare it is almost unheard of), or two ovaries.

Some facts:

It is impossible to have two testes and two ovaries.

It is impossible to have two testes and one ovary.

It is impossible to have two ovaries and two testes.

It is impossible to have two ovaries and one testis.

It is impossible in your appendix (that has actually been claimed).

Someone with complete androgen insensitivity syndrome does not have a penis and father children.

The vast majority of people who have intersex conditions are sterile.

Now to consider some individual intersex conditions.


On very rare occasions a person has been born with an ovary and a teste. However this is so rare that it is practically unknown in the majority of intersex clinics and there appears to have never been a case of this in a transsexual person either. The existence of people who are true hermorphodite is extremely rare and most experts in intersex will never meet one.

If a true hermaphrodite is found, medics drop everything and flock to the hospital. It being about the only time you will see medics travel in a manner almost similar to wacky races if necessary, to the point they will even accept non-first class seats on planes just to get there. Literally it is like an emergency ad hoc medical conference. It is so rare that the majority of intersex specialists will never encounter a person with such a condition, so will jump at the chance of hands on experience and observation.

At this link is an example.

5 Alpha Reductase.

Regarding 5 alpha. It is not unusual for a person with 5 alpha to be born with ambiguous genitalia. Normally surgery will be carried out very early, which nearly always leads to serious long-term health problems. Presentation at birth varies. They can look anything from completely female to completely male. All are sterile.

If 5 Alpha is not surgically treated, the results can be at puberty, that what in effect is either a clitoris or an enlarged clitoris will enlarge, but that labia will stay unfused and sometimes there is a trace of a vaginal canal. It will resemble a small-unsheathed penis. The genitalia will look nothing like male genitalia except in passing.

Claims that people with 5 alpha go on to have large penises and be completely functional are based purely in fantasy and wishful thinking. Any clinician claiming otherwise, I would request they present a patient in front of my face to prove otherwise.

Regarding gender identity in 5 alpha people, it literally can be anywhere from male to female. Contrary to the literature that is quoted, which also appears to be highly suspect. Most actually appear to identify as female, not male.

For more information on 5 alpha see.

Spontaneous sex change.

This does not occur in humans and is a fiction created in pornographic magazines, porn films and the minds of deranged fantasists. A penis cannot spontaneously change into a vagina in days, weeks months or years. Sex reassignment surgery however, can change a penis into a vagina.

Spontaneous sex change can occur in frogs and some other amphibians.

The only way this could occur in a human being is if David Icke the conspiracy theorist is right in his claims that all our world leaders are really amphibians or reptiles masquerading as human. I think we can all guess the truth on that one.

In some rare cases a person can develop a pituitary condition, which can cause in a woman to have high levels of testosterone to be produced or in a man high levels of estrogen. These conditions are extremely serious. The people do not change sex and very often require extremely serious and sometimes life threatening surgery on there pituitary gland. Conditions like this have to be treated quickly as they can be fatal if left untreated. These people have no gender identity issue and are quite often disturbed by what happens to them. Also on extremely rare occassions anti-cholesterol medicine can disrupt the pituatory gland, causing disruption of hormone levels. This requires immediate medical intervention.

Congenital Adrenal Hyperplasia.

The number of female to male transsexuals and transgenderists also falsely claiming to have CAH is also a problem.

Congenital Adrenal Hyperplasia can be fatal. CAH girls vary from looking normal at birth right through to being mistaken for male in rare cases at birth, with a spectrum in between. If a child is not recognized as having CAH at birth, they can go into an adrenal crisis after being taken home. An adrenal crisis can kill if appropriate treatment is not given, quickly. The adrenal crises are a fact of life for people with CAH, all through their life. Even in adulthood when a person is well versed on CAH, they can still not reach hospital in time and die all to often of an adrenal crisis.

Issues such as gender identity are quite often a non-issue for people with CAH. Most are to worried with trying to stay alive to worry about gender identity, contrary to what LGBT transgender and queer activists like to claim.

Also some male to female transsexual people have claimed to have CAH. People with CAH have short stature, due to their treatment. Someone 190cm tall and built like a terminator, does not have CAH.

Males who have CAH are also very short in stature.

Androgen Insensitivity Syndrome.

For a very good overview of androgen insensitivity syndrome see.

There website.

In CAIS (complete androgen insensitivity syndrome) a person is completely insensitive to testosterone. Literally they have no response to testosterone whatsoever.

There are a lot of bizarre myths around CAIS. Most of the myths that circulate in the T and LGBT worlds appear to have their origins in some sort of fantasies, not fact. The fantasy that all women with CAIS have an issue with there gender identity is purely that, a fantasy. They are fed up with various groups, including trans groups trying to claim their is a gender identity issue when there never has been, is not now and never will be.

They are not trans, extreme transsexuals or a form of homosexual. They are just women, who wish to be left alone to get on with there lives and want people to stop colonizing their issues for political reasons.

ISNA and Accord Alliance.

Alice Dreger and her husband encouraged Bo Laurent and Kirea Trea to misrepresent themselves as intersex. The organization they set up called ISNA, now known as the Accord Alliance, was an intensely transphobic organization, yet was top heavy with self hating transsexual people. The only person in ISNA who was genuinely intersex that this author can find was Sherri Grovemann.

Kidney and bladder infections/damage.

Some transsexual people have claimed to have a period because they have pissed blood. They have not had a period. Kidney infections can cause a person to piss blood. Physical damage from impacts can cause a person to piss blood.

A period cannot occur when a person has two testes, as the testosterone would suppress any possibility of a period if the tissue actually existed.

People who have pissed blood because of childhood surgery are people who have had just that happen. They would strongly refute any claim that they are having a period, regardless of what any LGBT activist, queer theorist or trans activist states. They will state the truth and inform you it is from a bladder or kidney infection or scar tissue failure.

Birth Scar in transsexual people.

A lot of transsexual people take a lot of notice of there genitalia. That is natural as they are trying to find ways of getting rid of their genitalia.

Every human has a birth scar, where the skin closes over in the womb.

In female births this is hidden by the cleft of the vagina.

In male births quite often there is a small scar somewhere between the anus and tip of the penis. It is usually not noticeable at all, unless looking for it. In some people the scar is more pronounced. In some it can be a heavy scar that runs from the anus all the way to the tip of the penile skin. It does not affect erections. It just looks like a heavy scar.

This scar is not a hypospadias, no matter what any queer theorist, trans theorist, LGBT activist or trans activist claims. It is a completely distinct issue from a hypospadias.

It is just a scar, nothing else and nothing else should be made of it.

Sweden – Sex-based prenatal brain differences found… [2009-10-23 PhysOrg]

Submitted by Andrea B.

Psychology & Psychiatry

Sex-based prenatal brain differences found

October 23rd, 2009

Prenatal sex-based biological differences extend to genetic expression in cerebral cortices. The differences in question are probably associated with later divergences in how our brains develop. This is shown by a new study by Uppsala University researchers Elena Jazin and Björn Reinius, which has been published in the latest issue of the journal Molecular Psychiatry.

Professor Elena Jazin and doctoral student Björn Reinius at the Department of Physiology and Developmental Biology previously demonstrated that genetic expression in the cerebral cortices of human beings and other primates exhibits certain sex-based differences. It is presumed that these differences are very old and have survived the evolutionary process. The purpose of the new study was to determine whether they appear during the process of brain development or first upon the conclusion of that process. Identifying the initial genetic
mechanisms that prompt the brain to develop in a female or male direction is a long-range research objective.

The Uppsala University researchers analysed data, on the basis of sex, from another extensive study of the prenatal human brain.

“The results show that many of the genes situated on the Y chromosome are expressed in various parts of the brain prior to birth and probably provide a developmental basis for the sex-based differences exhibited by adult brains,” according to Elena Jazin.

More than a third of Y-chromosomal genes appear to be involved in sex-based human brain differentiation. Some of the genetic activity in question is evident in the adult brain, while other of it only appears at earlier stages of brain development It is yet unknown whether the differences in genetic expression among female and male brains have any functional significance.

“The findings are consistent with other factors, such as environment, also playing a role in how we develop,” emphasizes Elena Jazin.

Knowledge of the development of sex-based brain differences is of potential significance for the treatment of brain disturbances and diseases. A large number of psychiatric illnesses, including depression and autism, affect men and women differentially.

“Taking account of sex-based differences is crucial to the study of normal and abnormal brain activity,” according to Elena Jazin.

Source: Uppsala University (news : web )

© 2003-2009

Alien Abductions and Claims of Improbable Intersex Conditions in Online discussion Groups

Over the last 15 years or so that I have been on line I have evolved from some one who read and posted on various “Trans” Usenet newsgroups and internet forums to first a member of a number of “Trans” mailing lists.  Some 9 years ago Tina and I started the Women Born Transsexual mailing list.

I started this Blog in mid February.  Add to this some 40 years of experience since coming out.  This means I have met hundreds, if not thousands of people over the years who have had their lives impacted by association with one or more trans prefixed words.  I’ve read most of the major literature, a ton of biographies.  Some much more factual than others and some much better written than others.

I have a pretty wide ranging knowledge base in a number of fields, something typical of those with life long liberal educations supplemented with autodidactism.

This means I’ve read a number of works regarding intersex conditions including John Money and Anke Ehrhardt’s Man & Woman/Boy & Girl as well as the more popular John Money and Patricia Tucker book Sexual Signatures: On Being a Man or a Woman.  Another Book on the subject is Dr Richard Green’s Sexual Identity Conflict in Children and Adults.

Not only have I read these works but prior to writing this I went to the library and pulled them from their shelves.  Now you might say, “But both Green and Money and Money are discredited monsters?”

I would agree with you except for one thing and that was their co-editing of the Johns Hopkins book Transsexualism and Sex Reassignment in 1969-70.  They later drifted with times to far more conservative positions with the rise of the far right wing in both the US and GB.  Green was probably never a friend to people with transsexualism but Money was.

In the early days of Sex Reassignment Surgery they decided if one were intersex or transsexual based on one of the cruder tests, a buccal smear and slide stained to look for Barr Bodies, the inactivated x chromosome found in females but not males.  For obvious reasons the majority of these tests came back negative.  Nonetheless many doctors including Dr. Benjamin as well as the Doctors at Stanford where I had my SRS looked at some of us and said, “There is definitely something going on here that our tests are not finding.  You were too feminine before starting hormones for there not to be.  Matters like pelvic structure etc.

But as early as 1970 Doctors had become wary because they had been burned badly in a case circa 1960 at UCLA by someone known in the literature as Agnes.  Her case is documented in Harold Garfinkel’s book Studies in Ethnomethodology.  For those not familiar with the story of Agnes, Agnes was a transsexual to female person who got SRS at UCLA Medical Center in the late 1950s or early 1960s.  She presented herself as an intersex person with male genitals and “spontaneously appearing” female secondary sexual features. She claimed these secondary sexual characteristics just developed and swore she did not take any legally or illegally obtained female hormones.

She talked a good act and managed to get one of the first SRS operations that were performed at a major university research hospital in the US.  Now I can understand why she did what she did as there were maybe a half dozen places in the world where one could actually get SRS in 1960 and many of them were iffy.

The doctors loved her.  Oh, they wrote journal articles about her for JAMA and other prestigious publications.  Then a year or two later Agnes fessed up, she was transsexual and those female secondary sex characteristics were the result of her having first stolen her mother’s hormone tablets and later forging scripts for hormones and were not “spontaneously occurring”.  But the books and journal articles were already out there.

Now the doctors who had written them appeared to be either morons or dupes taken in by a con artist.  Of course they failed to ask the most important question of all, “why?”.  Why indeed?

The obvious answer is desperation at being born transsexual in a time and place when one knows SRS is possible but so rare as to bear comparison to early manned space flight that was occurring contemporaneously.  Something you knew was possible but so rare as to appear impossible for you to do.  Agnes did what she had to do, but she poisoned the well in the process.

All transsexual claims to being intersexed from that day forward were looked upon as being suspect. For what it is worth I can empathize with what those doctors must have felt.  Agnes not only flat out lied to them when they were trying to help her but made fools out of them as well.

In doing this Agnes also selfishly damaged study into transsexualism as an intersex condition. At that point it was decided that transsexual and intersex were distinct condition and not overlapping and intertwining ones as earlier researchers had postulated

When I went to Dr. Benjamin and he examined me he observed that I had under developed genitals and was physically rather feminine.  But that was pretty much as far as that line of examining me went.

I was receiving public assistance at the time and the social workers in Berkeley thought I would be a perfect test case to attempt to get the government to pay for SRS.  The social workers saw me as completely sane and thought I was a great candidate to help set a precedent.  So I was examined by four different psychiatrists who all found me sane.  Unfortunately those were also the early days of Nixon and his killing of the War on Poverty and Great Society programs that were helping people with transsexualism become something other than sex workers.  Instead of them helping me because I was sane and deserved rehabilitative help the new requirements of the more conservative government directives required me to be mentally disturbed and receive permanent disability.

As an autodidact and someone who was working at the NTCU the doctors with the Stanford program were open to discussing details with me and other of the more educated sisters that weren’t discussed with those who lacked the knowledge to actually ask the questions.  They were open to input from those of us with carefully considered insights.

After my evaluative screening session with Dr Fisk.  I asked him, “In your opinion, nature or nurture?”  His honest answer was, “We don’t know.  In your case and the case of some others we think nature yet with other people we think nurture.” He then asked me what I thought.

My answer was a bit of both nature and nurture and that I found it hard to not think it was physical with some of the sisters I met and at the same time a lot of people who came to our office seemed pretty crazy.

The thing was that with Hopkins in the 1960s and Stanford in the early 1970s the Gender Identity Clinics were not just places we went to for SRS. They were also research centers.  Right from the start they faced a good deal of opposition from people who wanted to shut them down.  The Benjamin Standards of Care and perhaps even the GID as diagnosis grew out of efforts to continue to provide SRS to people with transsexualism.

Quite a few doctors believe it is physical just as many people with transsexualism do.  We don’t make elaborate claims of various forms of intersex that are contradicted by our lives. One of the biggest contra indicators of would be fathering children.  Even those of us who liked boys and never became parents generally tend to not claim improbable intersex conditions.

In the 1990s a couple of people popped up and started appearing every where from the on-line world to the talk shows, magazines and the indexes of serious books.  Those people were Cheryl Chase and Kiira Triea.

Interestingly they reared their heads about the same time the talk shows were entranced with Satanic Child Abuse Cults, The McMartin School in Southern California and the supposed million (or some ridiculously high number) of missing children.  A number that would have factored out as a child from every school class room in the country and would have had every newspaper in America filled with little else than stories of missing children.

I’ve heard a lot of stories about all these infant sex reassignment surgeries.  Heart breaking stories from people who would have had to have had this surgery in the 1950s or 60s.  Supposedly vast numbers of people were operated on.  Expensive complex procedures in a nation where  sex reassignment surgery on adults was extremely rare and the techniques were just being developed

Do I doubt that surgeries were done?  No…  But I would pretty much bet no where near as often as Tirea and Chase who were then heading up ISNA implied they were.

I was on some of the same mailing lists as Kiira, along with Heike Boedeker, a strangely abusive European who came and went around 2000.  At one point Kiira made some claims that triggered my bullshit detector.  As a result I began doubting her veracity.

One of those claims was involvement with the Berkeley Women’s Music Collective at a time when Sandy Stone, a WBT was getting seriously trashed by certain lesbian feminists.  I had photographed a number of the women who recorded for Olivia Records, the label that the Berkeley Women’s Music Collective recorded on and there was material in Feminist and Lesbian History archives that I had access to.  I checked and didn’t find her there.  Now she could have used a different name, perhaps Denise Tree and yet I really didn’t find much there but I was reminded of something I had seen happen in the LA Feminist community.

I was involved with Renaissance, a trans-group with Jude Patton, Carol Katz and Joanna Clark (Sister Mary Elizabeth).  Someone came to meetings and photographed some of us.  Those photos were featured in a feminist publication in conjunction with an excerpt from Janice Raymond’s then doctoral thesis, which went on to become The Transsexual Empire.  When these came out my position was one of, “So what…  I experience patriarchal oppression and I am a hard working feminist with good solid politics.”

But this other sister claimed she was actually not transsexual but was really intersex.  I didn’t think much of it at the time and she wasn’t claiming to be intersex and trashing transsexuals by claiming to be realer than the lumpen masses of women born transsexual.

In that same time frame (circa 2000) I started hearing a lot about Bailey and Blanchard as well as their crackpot theories regarding androphilia/autogynaphilia as the motivating force behind transsexualism in T to F people.  One mailing list I was on (Trans-Theory) was invaded by an extremely vicious cabal of people who were sock puppets hiding behind various aliases.  They engaged in a brutal assault of people’s sense of self worth accompanied with occasional threats.

One claimed to be intersexed with CAH and accompanying salt wasting.  Okay, that sounded reasonable.  But why was she coming to a mailing list for Transtheory and pushing Bailey/Blanchard and Lawrence along with praising Janice Raymond?

As time has gone on Andrea James of TS Roadmaps has investigated both Triea and Chase.  She credibly alleges them to be frauds as do others.  ISNA has fallen apart.

This leaves people with far more credibility such as Sophia Seidelberg and Curtis Hinkle of OII to pick up the pieces and undo the damage done by someone who has become the J.T. Leroy of the intersex movement.

Of note I have noticed that the people who appear to be genuine tend to not be overtly hostile to people with transsexualism who do not tend to appropriate their narratives.  Along with our appearing in the same books of early research the approach to sex reassigning that people with transsexualism have of not having such surgery performed without our consent offers a model for people with intersex conditions who wish to exercise existential agency in determining via surgery their membership in one sex or the other.

Even young children are capable of making their desires known regarding which sex they consider themselves to be in a way that infants are not.  Consent and self determination should always be the critical factors not doctors or clergy acting as authority figures.

As I said OII has to undo the damage done by Triea.

But it is not an easy task as I have discovered on a mailing list for the discussion of the removal of the GID Diagnosis from the DSM.  Like many mailing lists this one seems to have died and only the rot from within remains as it has been taken over by the wailing of people with kitchen sinks full of improbable and often contradictory combinations of intersex conditions.

People who in spite of living as men and never having taken hormones are more women than post-SRS WBTs who have lived 10-20-30 or more years as female.

Surgeries performed I guess while they were carried aloft by space aliens in flying saucers because the likelihood of them having been performed in the time frame, location or by the named person seems virtually nil.

The other thing I have noted is that people making these claims often share a common trait that makes me suspect they have Munchausen’s Syndrome as along with these improbable intersex conditions they also often claim some sort of horrific physical disability or disease.  I suspect one is a spazzer (some one who pretends to have a rather profound learning disability).  Either way these people are like vampires sucking the life out of groups in a way I have seen ever since I first became involved in feminist and LGBT/T causes.

Their requirements for attention are boundless.  They find offense and attack back even postings or in a group statements that have nothing to do with them.

I have seen such people come into gender support groups and destroy them by taking the focus of these groups from mutual support to giving all attention to the person so beset by such a terrible history of abuse.  The classic case seen in the media is J.T. Leroy who claimed to having been a child sex worker, the product of an abusive trailer park “white trash” family.  I will grant you the books were labeled fiction but people interpreted them as autobiographical.  The author J. T. Leroy was a fictional being, a middle aged woman who got another woman to pose as this reclusive and evasive transgender person who was not only an author but who was HIV+ and had lived the life of her characters.

When the truth comes out everyone feels taken and people with legitimate claims suffer.

Transsexualism is in all probability a legitimate intersex condition, more nature than nurture.  The evidence keeps mounting for it being physical and although there continue to be staunch defenders of transsexualism being a product of flawed socialization their case seems to offer little beyond increasingly meaningless jargon and post modern babble.

As such people with transsexualism and people with legitimate intersex conditions have far more in common than one would imagine when listening to the people who sound as though they were abducted by space aliens with their improbable claims.

‘Intersex’ fish found in Colorado Study: Pollutants causing male bass to develop female sex organs

From Havasu News
‘Intersex’ fish found in Colorado
Study: Pollutants causing male bass to develop female sex organs
By DICK KAMP / Wick Communications Environmental Liaison
Sunday, September 20, 2009 8:02 PM MST

Early studies indicate various pollutants, drugs, cosmetics and household products in the Colorado River can cause some male bass to have partially developed female organs inside.

This phenomenon of occasional female organ growth in males, is called “intersex.”

A nationwide study of sexual fish aberrations by the U.S. Geological Survey found that 40 percent of smallmouth bass and one-third of largemouth bass sampled in the Colorado River were intersex. The Colorado River data were from 2003, and nationwide it covered the period 1995-2004.

The pollutants and various chemicals affect hormone activity in animals and humans are collectively called endocrine disruptors or endocrine active compounds.

The Colorado River Regional Sewage Coalition has been concerned with the presence of the endocrine disruptors, particularly because Colorado River water is consumed by millions in Arizona, Nevada and California.

One member of CRRSCO, Southern Nevada Water Authority, has been testing for chemicals in Lake Mead and Las Vegas drinking water.  Monitoring has shown that levels of a number of endocrine disruptors exist in drinking water for Las Vegas at substantial percentages of levels that are detected in Lake Mead near the sewage outfall.

For example, the popular insect repellant DEET and the herbicide atrazine have been detected (at low unregulated levels in parts per trillion) when sampled in both the lake and potable Las Vegas drinking water.

SNWA also is assisting Lake Havasu City Water Resources Coordinator Doyle Wilson to sample for endocrine disruptors in Lake Havasu as well as in water supply wells and a huge sewage storage repository two miles from the lake constructed within the last two years. Doyle said that his principal concern with the USGS study is that the fish data are already dated.

Wilson added that CRRSCO is pinning some of its hopes for future monitoring of endocrine disruptors and many pollutants on the Lower Colorado River Protection Act, which was introduced July 31 by Rep. Raul Grijalva, D-Ariz. The bill would create and implement an EPA-overseen, long-term plan to protect water quality in the lower Colorado to prevent and eliminate pollution with continuous ecosystem monitoring.

Some of the highest intersex percentages were found in the southeastern U.S. At 111 sites nationwide, 3,080 fish were examined and all had contaminants in their bodies.

Forty percent of largemouth bass examined at Imperial Dam and at the Gila River in Hayden were intersex, and 70 percent of smallmouth bass in the upper Colorado in the Yampa River were intersex.

Among other species examined, the only intersex carp found nationwide was at Willow Beach, below Lake Mead. One intersex channel catfish was found in the lower Colorado basin in the Gila River at Phoenix, and one at each of three sites in the upper Colorado.

Lead author of the report, JoEllen Hincke, of the USGS Columbia Missouri Environmental Research Lab, said that the report “is the first synthesis of USGS efforts to measure contamination in water, fish and intersex occurrence.”

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control — and governments worldwide — have gathered substantial evidence that human health is affected by exposure to hormone-disrupting chemicals.  Pregnant women and babies, particularly boys, are considered at highest potential risk but serious conditions affecting women such as infertility, ovarian damage and adult male hormonal disruption are considered to be likely impacts of the chemicals.

Wastewater discharges into sources of drinking water are one major pathway of contamination that may include bodily discharges of concentrations of chemicals or from pollutants themselves being discharged into surface and groundwater.

Posted in Intersex, Science/Biology. Comments Off on ‘Intersex’ fish found in Colorado Study: Pollutants causing male bass to develop female sex organs

Intersex Deer

[I didn’t write the article, it is quoted from Outdoor Life hence the language is theirs.]

Outdoor Life

Biology: HeShe Bucks

October 2009 pg 21

Shoot a velvet buck with spindly limber antlers?  Chances are, he’s missing some important equipment.

By Ben Swenson

Aubrey Williams, of Chesapeake, Virginia, wasn’t sure what to make of the 8-point buck he shot last December.

“His antlers were soft and he was bleeding from one of the rines in his rack.” he says, “When I turned him over to gut him, he didn’t have any testicles.”

William’s kill had what appears to be a growing number of odd antlers reported by deer hunters each year.  Kansas hunter Mike Smith made headlines around the country last year when he bagged a 27 point whitetail, only to discover it was a doe.

Missing or malformed testicles, as with William’s buck, can interupt testosterone production necessary for the annual cycle of antler growth, hardening and shedding.

Doe deer sometimes grow antlers because of hormone imbalances or diseased or injured sex organs.  A few antlered deer are hermaphrodites, meaning they produce both male and female genitalia.

Dr. Chris DePerno, a wildlife biologist at North Carolina State University, explains that getting a handle on the percentage of these deer in the overall population is challenging.  They get a lot of attention, and anecdototally it appears more are being reported every year. But they remain a very small subset of the population.

“Biologists have a hard enough time estimating the number of normal individuals,” DePerno observes, “But the percentage of these altered deer certainly is very small,” though they occur throughout the species range.

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New Clues to Sex Anomalies in How Y Chromosomes Are Copied

From the New York Times Science Section


The first words ever spoken, so fable holds, were a palindrome and an introduction: “Madam, I’m Adam.”

A few years ago palindromes — phrases that read the same backward as forward — turned out to be an essential protective feature of Adam’s Y, the male-determining chromosome that all living men have inherited from a single individual who lived some 60,000 years ago. Each man carries a Y from his father and an X chromosome from his mother. Women have two X chromosomes, one from each parent.

The new twist in the story is the discovery that the palindrome system has a simple weakness, one that explains a wide range of sex anomalies from feminization to sex reversal similar to Turner’s syndrome, the condition of women who carry only one X chromosome.

The palindromes were discovered in 2003 when the Y chromosome’s sequence of bases, represented by the familiar letters G, C, T and A, was first worked out by David C. Page of the Whitehead Institute in Cambridge, Mass., and colleagues at the DNA sequencing center at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis.

They came as a total surprise but one that immediately explained a serious evolutionary puzzle, that of how the genes on the Y chromosome are protected from crippling mutations.

Unlike the other chromosomes, which can repair one another because they come in pairs, one from each parent, the Y has no evident backup system. Nature has prevented it from recombining with its partner, the X, except at its very tips, lest its male-determining gene should sneak into the X and cause genetic chaos.

Discovery of the palindromes explained how the Y chromosome has managed over evolutionary time to discard bad genes: it recombines with itself. Its essential genes are embedded in a series of eight giant palindromes, some up to three million DNA units in length. Each palindrome readily folds like a hairpin, bringing its two arms together. The cell’s DNA control machinery detects any difference between the two arms and can convert a mutation back to the correct sequence, saving the Y’s genes from mutational decay.

After Dr. Page discovered the palindromes, he wondered whether the system had weaknesses that might explain the male sex chromosome anomalies that are a major object of his studies. In the current issue of Cell, with Julian Lange and others, he describes what they call the “Achilles’ heel” of the Y chromosome and the wide variety of sexual disorders that it leads to.

The danger of the palindrome protection system occurs when a cell has duplicated all its chromosomes prior to cell division, and each pair is held together at a site called the centromere. Soon, the centromere will split, with each half and its chromosome tugged to opposite sides of the dividing cell.

Before the split, however, a serious error can occur. Palindromes on one Y chromosome can occasionally reach over and form a fatal attraction with the counterpart palindrome on its neighbor. The two Y’s fuse at the point of joining, and everything from the juncture to the end of the chromosome is lost

The double-Y’s so generated come in a range of lengths, depending on which of the palindromes makes the unintended liaison. Like other chromosomes, the Y has a left arm and a right arm with the centromere in between. The male-determining gene lies close to the end of the left arm. If the palindromes at the very end of the right arm make the join, a very long double-Y results in which the two centromeres are widely separated. But if the joining palindromes are just to the right of the centromere, a short double-Y is formed in which the two centromeres lie close together.

Dr. Page detected among his patients both short and long double-Y’s and those of all lengths in between. He and his colleagues then noticed a surprising difference in the patients’ sexual appearance that depended on the length between the centromeres of their double-Y’s.

The patients in whom the distance between the Y’s two centromeres is short are males. But the greater the distance between the centromeres, the more likely the patients are to be anatomically feminized. A few of the patients were so feminized that they had the symptoms of Turner’s syndrome, a condition in which women are born with a single X chromosome.

The explanation for this spectrum of results, in Dr. Page’s view, lies in how the double-Y’s are treated in dividing cells and in the consequences for determining the sex of the fetus.

When the centromeres are close together, they are seen as one and dragged to one side of the dividing cell. As long as the Y’s male-determining gene is active in the cells of the fetal sex tissue, or gonad, the gonads will turn into testes whose hormones will masculinize the rest of the body.

But when the centromeres lie far apart, chromosomal chaos results. During cell division, both centromeres are recognized by the cell division machinery, and in the tug of war the double-Y chromosome may sometimes survive and sometimes be broken and lost to the cell.

Such individuals can carry a mixture of cells, some of which carry a double-Y and some of which carry no Y chromosome. In the fetal gonads, that mixture of cells produces people of intermediate sex. In many of these cases the patients had been raised as female but had testicular tissue on one side of the body and ovarian tissue on the other.

In the extreme version of this process, the distribution of cells may be such that none of the fetal gonad cells possess a Y chromosome, even though other cells in the body may do so. Dr. Page and his colleagues found five of the feminized patients had symptoms typical of Turner’s syndrome. The patients had been brought to Dr. Page’s attention because their blood cells contained Y chromosomes. Evidently by the luck of the draw, the blood cell lineage had retained Y chromosomes but the all important fetal gonad cells had been denied them.

In 75 percent of women with Turner’s syndrome, the single X comes from the mother. “Since they are females, everyone imagines it’s Dad’s X that is missing,” Dr. Page said. “But it could easily be Dad’s Y.”

That the degree of feminization parallels the distance between the two centromeres of the double Y chromosome is “a fantastic experiment of nature,” Dr. Page said. Despite having studied the Y chromosome for nearly 30 years, he has learned that it is always full of surprises.

“I continue to see the Y as an infinitely rich national park where we go to see unusual things, and we are never disappointed,” he said.

Dr. Cynthia Morton, editor of the American Journal of Human Genetics, said the new explanation of Turner’s syndrome was plausible. “It’s another beautiful David Page contribution to the science of genetics,” Dr. Morton said.