Diethylstilbestrol and Lesbianism?

I have to tell you, I was originally going to just post this in IMHO or MPSIMS. But upon closer reflection, I realize it might spark a debate. So I’ll err on the side of caution, and post it here.

The prenatal drug diethylstilbestrol may lead to Lesbianism in women. I first read about this, I should tell you, in the Merck Manual. But they don’t publish it anymore, in paper form at least. But if you want to read more, here is one of many online articles about it.

But I just have to ask, if true, doesn’t this prove that homosexuality is just a natural biological phenomenon? I know many (so-called) Christian conservatives claim it is a choice :smirk: . And there is a myriad of reasons why they are generally wrong anyways. But doesn’t this just pretty much disprove that claim out-of-hand?

Thoughts? :slight_smile:

The FDA stopped the prescribing of DES to pregnant women in 1971 due to a pronounced link to cancer in the daughters of women who took it. Therefore any “lesbianism” that might have occured therefrom is confined to women over fifty. So what, exactly, is the big problem here that requires a debate?

This topic is not suitable for GD and I’m pretty sure Miller does not want me to dump it into the pit.

So I’m moving it to IMHO.

Did you even read the article you linked to? Because it says this (bolding mine):

Women who were prenatally exposed to DES were less likely to have a lesbian or bisexual orientation, while DES-exposed men were somewhat more likely to report being gay or bisexual, but estimates were imprecise.

LESS likely, Jim, not more likely.

Even if OP’s facts were correct, his reasoning is… inscrutable. Why would the fact that a drug influences a behavioral trait imply that the behavior is not volitional absent the drug?

Well, you gotta consider the source.

I was just wondering if this would change the debate on being gay.

The Merck Manual article did say that the connection was with Lesbianism. But as someone pointed out, there is clearly still something weird going on here with the drug and the sexual ‘hardwiring’ that is going on in the brain before birth… Didn’t @nelliebly say it was in fact male homosexuality that was involved?

I didn’t know there was still a debate.

Disgusting that this shit is still coming up, isn’t it?

Oh, Jim, poor guy. The post is only three posts upthread of yours. Take another look. Let’s take this step by step, OK?

  1. I didn’t say “male homosexuality” was “involved.” The cite you provided didn’t say that, either, but for now, note that I didn’t say that. I quoted your cite.

  2. The cite said DES-exposed me were “somewhat more likely to report” [my bold]. Of course, self-reporting is the only method possible, and it’s appropriate, but how the question was asked and other factors could affect the data.

  3. “The estimates were imprecise.” See that? Estimates. Imprecise.

The Merck Manual doesn’t count because you can’t cite it or quote from it.

No, it won’t.

Unfortunately, as of 2013, anyway, 4 in 10 Americans still see it as a choice, according to Pew. Maybe that’s changed in 8 years. I imagine there are still debates somewhere.

Every time that I have been gay it involved marijuana and band camp.


And every time that I have been lesbian it involved no DES.

I don’t think that is inherently faulty reasoning. If a behavioural trait changes depending on a pre-natal drug exposure (and I have no idea about the facts, I’m only talking about the logic) that is not by any means definitive but does weakly imply it is a behaviour based on chemistry not choice. It’s weak but not devoid of rationality.

Well, there’s a whole list of related articles on the right column of the OPs link, and at least one claimed an increase in lesbianism. Embryonic hormone levels ‘bake in’ physical sex differences, if they have a similar effect on mental differences, an exogenous hormone might as well.

Will it affect the ‘choice’ argument? I doubt it, most people promoting the choice argument aren’t following the science anyway.

I’m not understanding the hostility here - the OP, even though mistaken as to what the cite was, supports the idea that it’s not a choice.

I happen to have a 12th edition Merck Index. It mentions it’s use to prevent miscarriages and as a growth promoter in livestock. It’s been banned as a growth promoter since 1979 and listed as a carcinogen. Nothing about sexuality.

I am very confused about the basis of this debate. What does it matter if sexuality is a choice or not? Let’s assume the Christians are correct and sexuality is a choice. So what?? Breakfast is also a choice, doesn’t mean that Christians should be able to tell me what to eat.

This also goes into the Trans debate. Many idiots have said that they “sexually identify as attack-helicopters” in order to attempt insult the trans-movement. So the fuck what?? I see no problem with someone literally sexually identifying as an attack-helicopters (as long as they aren’t hurting anyone). Better that than the very real tendency of these groups to sexually identify as a violent vigilante.

TLDR: I think pulling science into this kind of debate gives too much credence to those who just want to control other people.