Transsexualism: An Unacknowledged Endpoint of Developmental Endocrine Disruption by Christine Johnson (her abstract to her thesis) states:
“In recent years, evidence has accumulated demonstrating that endocrine disrupting chemicals (EDCs) have the potential to alter sexual development at the organizational and functional level in many species, including humans, indicating that this class of chemicals may play a role in the etiology of transsexualism.
Although transsexualism has historically been attributed to social or psychological causes, little data exists to support these claims, thus requiring a closer examination of the evidence regarding changes in sexual development due to EDCs. Toward that end, this thesis considers data from studies examining hormonal signaling mechanisms and changes in sexual development observed in wildlife, laboratory animals, and humans exposed to EDCs, all providing a consistent picture that sex hormones and their receptors are highly conserved evolutionarily, finding similar effects of disruption in many species.
In order to place the data in context, a number of historical threads are examined, including: the use of chemicals in agriculture, the use of the pesticide DDT and the pharmaceutical drug diethylstilbestrol (DES), the intertwined relationship between chemical manufacturers and the military, and the history of transsexualism since 1950. The operation and function of the endocrine system is reviewed in order to provide the background to properly interpret findings from endocrine disruptor studies, focusing particularly on the hypothalamic-pituitary-gonadal (HPG) axis. Recent physiological data regarding the vomeronasal organ (VNO) is reviewed, demonstrating that the VNO is the organ responsible for detecting pheromones, or sexually-relevant chemically-based cues, and that exposure of the VNO to extremely low levels of putative sex hormones causes numerous autonomic system responses, including alterations in endocrine function in males. It is therefore suggested that the VNO plays a central role in the circuitry involving sexual development, and a hypothetical framework for testing this concept is provided.
Using this framework, a mechanism for the development of gender identity is proposed, suggesting that gender identity is determined via pheromones by comparing the self with others at an unconscious level. One consequence of this mechanism is that messages conveyed by pheromones can be regarded as signals that can be in contradiction from messages from society, leading to a paradoxical double bind, or a logical contradiction between messages that exist on different logical levels.
Another consequence is that there may exist a class of chemicals, pheromone disruptors that could interfere with pheromones in a manner analogous to endocrine disruptors. Further research must be performed to test this hypothesis since little data exists on pheromones in humans, but early data suggests chemicals may be found that interfere with normal pheromone function.
The prevalence of transsexualism is examined, finding that prevalence differences reported in various countries are not well explained by social factors. Also, it is observed
that existing studies have reported the prevalence of transsexuals seeking treatment over a specific time period, but this reporting method is not a measure of the number of transsexuals for each country, which is what the term implies to most people. Several recent epidemiological studies that address sexual changes from endocrine disruption are critiqued, finding that they are plagued with methodological weaknesses and contain a number of errors in interpretation. It is argued that instead of using epidemiological techniques, a more useful approach would be to perform demographic studies that map the birthplace of transsexuals in space and time to determine any patterns that may be related to environmental conditions. The lack of detailed data on transsexual demographics, especially in the United States where such data are completely lacking, has left a void where a lack of data has been interpreted incorrectly as a lack of effect.
The fundamental assumptions used in risk analysis and toxicology are reviewed in the context of recent findings that the effects of a chemical may be larger at low doses than at high doses and that thresholds for the endocrine system must be determined empirically, rather than by assumption of a dose-response curve and extrapolation from an observed toxicological endpoint. The use of invalid techniques by toxicologists has thus invalidated claims of chemical safety, and indicates that public policy based on these techniques are insufficiently protective of public health. Because few things are more important to the continuity of cultures than sexuality and social relations, a number of areas requiring further research are identified, and the need for education of the public is emphasized. I conclude that the existing evidence points towards chemical causes of transsexuality rather than social or psychological causes, requiring a shift in research priorities away from psychosocial studies towards physiological studies of transsexuals”
She concludes her paper by saying:
“Therefore, this thesis concludes that the single most important thing that can be done by advocates is to undermine these unexamined epistemological premises by educating the public of the evidence demonstrating a relationship between EDCs and transsexualism. When presented with evidence, contradiction in epistemologies can force a new perspective, enabling people to question the logic of what are ultimately self-destructive cultural beliefs. As the title of this thesis alludes, transsexualism is an unacknowledged endpoint of endocrine disruption, and all that is required to change this situation is simply acknowledgement. Then this knowledge becomes part of our cultural heritage and better decisions may result from this fuller knowledge of the facts. From this, beliefs can change; different beliefs lead to a different set of actions, and it is in the domain of action where this must ultimately be addressed. But before that can be achieved, habituated beliefs must be made visible."
From another source:
“Is it a coincidence that since the introduction of the chlorinated pesticides around 1935-1940 that the rate of transsexualism has been climbing steadily?
The first generation born after the introduction of pesticides was also the first generation to have significant numbers of transsexuals. The condition is virtually absent from the US historical record prior to 1952, when Christine Jorgensen made headlines. Every generation since has had higher and higher rates. Clearly researchers knew that sexual developmental changes were observed with DDT in animals as early as 1950, yet this information was ignored, deliberately or not. Fifty years later, large numbers and quantities of EDCs are being distributed around the globe without adequate consideration of the consequences”
Certainly food for thought but then why is only a tiny sliver of the population affected and not the rest? As the oldest of six children and the only gender disphoric it makes me wonder. I know I was not breast fed and my mother (like many of that time) used plastic bottles….
“Some researchers are investigating the health risks to children of endocrine disrupting chemicals (EDC’s) Bisphenol A, until 2010 a common component in the plastic used to manufacture plastic baby bottles, has been banned in most countries. In 2010, despite strong industry opposition, Canada was the first to ban BPA's use in baby bottles. Australia and the European Union followed in 2011. Several states in the United States had banned its use by 2011, and in 2012 a nation-wide ban was put in place