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The Anti-Lesbian Drug – Newsweek

Posted: July 3rd, 2010 | Author: | Filed under: Briefs | Tags: , , , , , , , | 3 Comments »

Bioethicist Alice Dreger, who raised concerns of a pediatricians' female genital mutilation practice, partnered with American University philosophy professor and gay rights activist Anne Tamar-Mattis against what they call the "FIRST EXPERIMENT TO ATTEMPT PREVENTION OF HOMOSEXUALITY IN WOMB" (sic) by pediatric endocrinologist Maria New.

As Sharon Begley reports, Dreger "blew the whistle on the controversial practice of giving pregnant women dexamethasone [dex] to keep the female fetuses they are carrying from developing ambiguous genitalia." While Dreger may have made a leap, dex isn't FDA-approved, so "medical societies have signed on to a statement recommending that prenatal dexamethasone therapy…'continue to be regarded as experimental, and be pursued only' in research settings." Maria New's "aim seems to be to…make life easier for" patients. I think that could be achieved better with social acceptance of intersexuality than with drugs.

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FDA Committee hearing on Flibanserin tomorrow (18 June) – how you can keep up with the meeting

Posted: June 19th, 2010 | Author: | Filed under: Briefs | Tags: , , , , , , | Comments Off on FDA Committee hearing on Flibanserin tomorrow (18 June) – how you can keep up with the meeting

Medical professionals have been warning against Flibanserin, a new drug created by pharmaceutical company Boehringer Ingelheim (BI) to address "hypoactive sexual desire disorder in women," or low sex drive. As Dr. Petra Boynton writes, "concerns have included the measures used to assess sexual satisfaction, the trials undertaken to assess the product, safety/efficacy questions, marketing strategies aimed at practitioners and the public, and the fact the research has not been made available within a peer reviewed journal. […] These issues are part of a wider anxiety over the increasing medicalisation of reduced female sexual desire."

Dr. Boynton and other practitioners have been critical of the blasé attitude with which mainstream media have treated their concerns, calling it "a pity that journalists covering this story could not have perhaps applied a more critical lens," and touting the use of Internet activism on blogs and Twitter for ensuring the FDA asks BI the tough questions.

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Update: Dr. Boynton has published a followup article that informs us of Flibanserin’s rejection by the FDA. She says, the FDA was “concerned about the materials used in trials to measure sexual response, the trial outcomes (which suggested Flibanserin did not perform much better than placebo) analysis of the data, and overall management of the trial. The FDA did not, however, dismiss HSDD generally and indicated it was a problematic condition they recognised.” Boynton details some lessons to be learned from the media coverage and reminds us that “we need to be aware that while there is now some critical coverage about the medicalisation of sexuality there is also a long way to go to get journalists to ask basic questions about drug company funded research in this area.”

In The Interest of "Equality," Malawian Woman’s Identity Is Erased |

Posted: May 29th, 2010 | Author: | Filed under: Briefs | Tags: , , , , , , | Comments Off on In The Interest of "Equality," Malawian Woman’s Identity Is Erased |

Steven Monjeza and Tiwonge Chimbalanga, residents of Malawi, Africa, were sentenced to 14 years hard labor after being found guilty of "unnatural acts" and "gross indecency." While news reports have consistently portrayed Steven and Tiwonge as "two gay men," Tiwonge has consistently self-identified as a woman. "Both the mainstream press and gay rights groups have consistently erased this fact from their statements," Audacia Ray writes. "The mainstream media is notorious for misgendering trans people; … they are described as being 'men dressed as women' and referred to persistently as 'he.' And although many gay rights groups include the letter 'T' in their acronyms and claim to be inclusive of diversity in gender identity, they don't hesitate to blatantly disregard gender identity when it serves their purpose of arguing for 'equality' in the treatment of gays."

In Africa, 37 countries enforce anti-homosexuality laws, but is silencing trans women an appropriate way to fight them? No.

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Xbox joysticking unlikely for game set inside vagina

Posted: May 27th, 2010 | Author: | Filed under: Briefs | Tags: , , , , , | Comments Off on Xbox joysticking unlikely for game set inside vagina

A video game featuring "a teeny-tiny gang of condom-hatted marines as they delve into peoples' vaginas and bottoms and blast away at all manner of oozy, shouty monsters" has raised concerns at Microsoft after its developer, Zombie Cow, expressed desire to release the game, Privates, for the Xbox 360.

Microsoft spokesperson David Dennis told, "We have guidelines in place that closely track requirements of content ratings boards worldwide and, among other things, prohibit the publication of strong sexual content. While we haven't seen this game, we can confirm that if it is consistent with the description we have seen on the Internet, this game would not pass peer review and would not be permitted to be distributed on Xbox Live."

Available screenshots are anything but graphic so many wonder if what Microsoft objects to is education, as other games such as Grand Theft Auto are far more explicit. The developers say the game "is intended to indirectly promote safe sex."

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