We’ve known for several years now that patients diagnosed with gender dysphoria have been receiving hormone therapy to force their bodies to look and behave more like the gender they “identify” as. But now, as reported at NBC News this week, doctors are going one step further. People who don’t identify as either gender are taking opposite gender hormones in smaller doses (“microdosing”) to shift their appearance only part way, making them appear more androgynous. These patients – assuming that word even applies here – are commonly referred to as “nonbinary” individuals.
Marisa Rivas never felt comfortable living as a woman, but doesn’t identify as a man either.
Last year, Rivas, 30, a college admissions coordinator in Los Angeles, had a mastectomy. This year, Rivas started using gender-neutral “they” and “them” pronouns.
Then, at the end of June, Rivas went to the Los Angeles LGBT Center in West Hollywood to talk to a doctor about going on “low-dose” testosterone, known colloquially as “microdosing.” Rivas hopes to achieve a sharper jawline and a more androgynous physique without overtly masculine features like facial hair. The goal is an appearance that is not clearly male or female.
“I still want to be somewhere in the middle,” Rivas said.
This is yet another sign that the medical profession in the United States (and other countries as well) has drunk deeply of the Koolaid and begun abandoning established medical practices in favor of appearing sufficiently woke. Perhaps this all started with the advent of cosmetic surgery, but this goes much deeper. The underlying principle in all of medicine is supposed to be, primum non nocere… first do no harm.
In the case of the patient being featured in that NBC News report, precisely what ailment is she suffering from. (She prefers “they” but that’s just bad English. Sorry, not sorry.) She admits she doesn’t “identify” as a man, but doesn’t want to be a woman either. So she’s not suffering from gender dysphoria. So what is she being treated for and why did a doctor decide to start dosing her up with testosterone?
The bigger question to ask is whether or not such hormone treatments are safe and if any risks involved are justified by the “condition” the physician is working to address. There is plenty of research material available about the long term risks and benefits associated with traditional hormone replacement therapy. And most studies, such as this one from the Mayo Clinic, acknowledge that the long-term risks are real, but can be justified provided the patient is regularly monitored. And that’s just for treatments replacing hormones that were supposed to be naturally showing up in your body.
When it comes to cross-sex hormone therapy (CSHT) for transgender patients, every study I’ve looked at thus far, such as this one, admits that “less is known about the long-term use of cross-sex HT.”
The same body of research simply isn’t available for long-term treatments of this type, where the hormones being injected were never supposed to appear at those levels naturally. One thing they have been able to determine is that long-term CSHT has been shown to increase risks of adverse cardiovascular events. And yet we have doctors prescribing this therapy for people who simply “don’t want to look like either gender.” Even worse, some doctors are pumping these hormonal cocktails into children.
How much of this madness are we supposed to sit by and watch? This is dubious medical science being deployed in the name of social justice rather than sound practices.