Intended for healthcare professionals


Treating homosexuality as a sickness:Transvestites might be the new outcasts

BMJ 2004; 328 doi: (Published 15 April 2004) Cite this as: BMJ 2004;328:955

Homosexuality caused by maternal medication and environmental oestrogens?

There may not be any medical treatments that can cure homosexuality1
but medical treatments to women may have increased the incidence of
homosexuality among their children. Maternal hormonal exposures before or
during early pregnancy can alter normal sexual development. Evolutionary
change from asexual to bisexual reproduction required complicated
circulating hormonal interactions. Irrespective of the chromosomal sex of
a foetus, inappropriate hormonal influences during early foetal life can
alter brain development and change the sexual orientation of both animals
and humans. Environmental oestrogenic pesticides are credited with
lowering sperm counts. Mouldy grains contain mycotoxins which are also
oestrogenic. The work of Regina Schoental has emphasised the effects of
excessive exogenous hormone exposures on behaviour throughout history. 2,3

The use of hormones, in the form of contraceptives or fertility drugs
has increased over the past century. Exogenous hormones are stored in
maternal fat and therefore may affect foetal development months after the
mother has stopped taking hormones. Clearly no fault lies with the
affected child, but the medical profession needs to rethink the full
consequences of prescribing ever more hormones to younger and younger
women. Use of long-acting implanted progesterones is a callous and
dangerous method of contraception. The health of future children should be
a priority in sex education programmes.

1 Lovitt CJ. Treating homosexuality as a sickness. BMJ 2004;328:955
(17 April), doi:10.1136/bmj.328.7445.955

2 Schoental R. Fusarial mycotoxins and behaviour: possible
implications for psychiatric disorder. Br J Psychiatry. 1985; 146: 115-9.

3 Schoental R. Mycotoxins, porphyrias and the decline of the
Etruscans.J Appl Toxicol. 1991; 11(6): 453-4.

Competing interests:
None declared

Competing interests: No competing interests

14 June 2004
Ellen C G Grant
physician and medical gynaecologist
20 Coombe Ridings, Kingston-upon-Thames, Surrey, KT2 7JU