This just in from the “We’re not just making this stuff up” department of gender studies, where we don’t actually just talk about how the binary prescribes and proscribes our lives, but even moreso, how it influences and limits medical research:
Both men and women make estrogen out of testosterone, and men make so much that they end up with at least twice as much estrogen as postmenopausal women. As levels of both hormones decline with age, the body changes. But until now, researchers have focused almost exclusively on how estrogen affects women and how testosterone affects men.
Sadly, we have known for a very long while that men have & need estrogen and vice versa, that neither is the “male” hormone or “female” hormone, and yet we persist in separating these hormones based on their dominance in one kind of body or another.
The article goes on to point out that middle aged spread in men is likely due to a decrease in estrogen levels, which was previously believed to be caused by the decrease of T, which, coincidentally, has lead to a $2 billion dollar testosterone industry. Go figure.
Over at Trans Group Blog, Angus “Andrea” Grieve-Smith has posted a piece about HHS’s announcement to begin collecting data on LGBTQ issues.
The Department of Health and Human Services has just made a big announcement: they will begin collecting data on LGBT issues, including transgender issues. The goal is to document disparities in health care, as well as plain old disparities in health, so that they can be addressed in the future. The plan is to have two roundtables on “gender identity data collection” with “key experts” this summer and fall, and then the “Data Council” will present a strategy next spring. The department will also collect public comment in various ways, one being through a website called regulations.gov, which is currently down.
If done right, this could be a tremendous help to understanding transgender issues. “The first step is to make sure we are asking the right questions,” HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius told the Washington Post. “Sound data collection takes careful planning to ensure that accurate and actionable data is being recorded.” As I’ve written before, current research on transgender feelings and actions is severely hampered by the lack of any kind of representative sample. Just to give you a quick sense, here are ten very basic questions that nobody knows the answer to: Continue reading “Research Announcement (& Forecasted Problems)”