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February 22, 2005

The Media lie; children die

From MSNBC:

The issue is “intersex,” the name for numerous conditions that result in roughly one in 4,000 babies born with both male and female traits.

One of the more common is congenital adrenal hyperplasia. In such cases, genetic girls with XX chromosomes are exposed in the womb to such high levels of androgen — the hormone that triggers male development — that they appear male externally even if they have female reproductive organs. A different condition leaves genetic males less responsive to androgen during development, so they’re born without a penis.

If this “reporter” had a brain she'd take it out and play with it. What a bunch of uneducated, biased, sensationalistic hogwash. First of all the term “intersex” has a different meaning for whichever activist is using it to further their agenda. It IS NOT a medical term, although there are plenty of dimwits who've managed to slime their way into the medical field who like to use it.

Second of all people with Congenital Adrenal Hyperplasia are not born with both male and female traits. Any 9 year-old who knows how to spell “yahoo” can figure that out. Why these morons at MSNBC can't do it I don't know. CAH affects the adrenal gland and leaves the person with a weakened immune system unless the stress hormones that are not being produced properly are replaced. The pre-natal affects on girls vary from nothing, to what's been rudely called “pseudo-hermaphroditism” which means the GIRL looks a bit like a boy BUT IS STILL A GIRL!!! The fact remains that this affects only a small portion of girls with CAH.

But any time the media decides to report on CAH they ignore the serious health problems (so some kids die, what does MSNBC care?). They ignore the ever present danger these people must live with, mainly due to few people taking their conditions seriously. What are the media focused on? The tabloid aspect that they can parade around and draw viewers/readers.

CAH kids die each year, but MSNBC and their ilk think making them into circus side show freaks is more important.

What makes me think I know the issue so much? I have two kids with CAH. I also run the single most frequented site for people and families with Congenital Adrenal Hyperplasia. I have to chase off media goons who visit chumming for stories. I see the heartbreak people have to endure every single time one of these trash pieces comes out. The fear that their neighbors or relatives will think that they're some kind of ungodly freak. The embarrassment that CAH is always treated as synonymous with the inaccurate term “intersex.” The assumption, perpetuated by these media parasites, that CAH automatically means homosexual.

Meanwhile another 5-year old dies because the family was too embarrassed to fully explain the condition to the daycare, or another 19 year-old slips into a coma, because he decided to pretend he doesn't have it and stop taking his medicine. And some depressed teenage girl, going through the normal angst all teenagers go through, contemplates suicide because she fears that if anyone finds out she'd be even more of an outcast than she imagines she already is.

But, hey, MSNBC gets to make a few bucks, so who cares how many lives are trashed.

UPDATE: after a bit of a search I discovered that quite a number of media outlets carried the exact same garbage story, including CNN, CBS, ABC, the Chicago Sun-Times, and various local papers. The author, it turns out is Lauran Neergaard, a “medical writer” for the Associated Press. One would think the AP could find a medical writer that at least knows a little bit about medicine.

Posted by Jack Lewis at February 22, 2005 02:21 PM

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