Doctors in the US are accused of using steroids to prevent female babies from being born lesbian or intersex.
The report, published in the Journal of Bioethical Inquiry, claims that a synthetic steroid called dexamethasone is being given to pregnant women at risk of having a child born with intersex or more male genitals and brains.
The drug is administered as early as week five to prevent the fetus from developing the endocrinilogical condition, congenital adrenal hyperplasia (CAH), reported The Advocate.
However, the authors of the report claim the ‘extremely troubling’ off-label use of the medicine does not prevent CAH and is only used to ‘intentionally engineer the development of their fetuses for sex normalization purposes.’
The paper warns that the trial of the drug is dangerous and could end in tragedy for the women and babies it is used on.
Findings in the report were obtained using Freedom of Information requests from professor Alice Dreger at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine, Ellen Feder, associate the American University and Anne Tamar-Mattis, executive director of Advocates for Informed Choice.