Hormones and Gender Identity

by | Jan 18, 2018 | Family Life, Health, Society, Spirituality

I read an interesting article today on CNN linking ibuprofen use to infertility in men. Ibuprofen has already been linked to affecting the testicles of babies in utero, so further studies have begun to reveal what could happen in male adults. For example, an athlete using ibuprofen regularly for 14 days developed compensated hypogonadism: a hormonal imbalance resulting in low testosterone and associated with impaired fertility, depression, and heart disease.

Since most drugs are not tested for their effect on male fertility before hitting the market, there are many unknowns regarding what drugs may be impairing fertility. We have already recognized that BPA, a common additive in plastics, mimics estrogen and disrupts the endocrine system. We are now also seeing synthetic estrogen – taken by women in birth control pills – finding its way into our water systems, and treatment plants aren’t designed to filter out synthetic hormones.

The question I want to pose, then, is how is this affecting us societally?

What if our men are not only experiencing low testosterone through medication, but also an increase in estrogen through water and plastics? Is this just contributing to lowered fertility, or could this be a factor in gender identity confusion? Take, for example, Bruce Jenner, an Olympic athlete who likely is no stranger to drugs like ibuprofen. Add to that the psychological toll of several failed marriages, a camera crew in your personal life and the family dynamics of the Kardashians, and perhaps there are underlying reasons why he feels more like identifying as a woman?

I am not a scientist, I am purely pondering out loud here, but I wonder if we can take a step back from gender identity right’s issues to look at other possible underlying causes, such as hormone issues. One thing we can be sure of, though, is that God created us to be a body and soul, so our physiology and psychology are interconnected. Sin disrupts that connection. God also created us male and female, to compliment each other and create families in the image of God.  And so if there is a break from God’s design, we need to discover the cause in order to heal it.

If we are rooted in God’s truth, the reality is: God created them male and female. I learned in biology that you either have xx or xy chromosomes, (barring a few abnormalities which are the exception, not the norm).  You need both of these chromosomes to come together to create a new person; to be fruitful and multiply.

But we have taken sex out of the context of being fruitful and used it primarily for enjoyment.

And then we took sex out of the equation to be fruitful and multiply by creating babies in a laboratory.

And now we have taken sex out of the equation of marriage, as you can marry whatever gender you wish or even “change” your own gender.

So what if contraception and other medications have also altered our hormone levels on a biological level to such a degree that we struggle with our identities?

I think it’s worth doing research into medical, biological, and hormonal implications of gender confusion. We have a body/soul union, and if our bodies are not working properly, it could affect how we feel. As for ibuprofen, “Larger clinical trials are warranted,” the CNN article quotes. “This is timely work that should raise awareness of medication effects on men and potentially their offspring.”

From the Chastity Project blog:

“Gender theories do not seek to unite and diversify human beings. Gender theories seek to break down the human person into a pile of parts that can be used and manipulated to please our every desire. It pits our bodies against our souls. Acceptance and love are its mantra, but in fact it does the complete opposite: encouraging us to reject our own selves.

We are destroying ourselves and our unique and particular dignity as men and women. We are crumbling the very foundation on which we are built.

I have no doubt that those who struggle to accept their identity as male or female experience very real pain. My heart breaks out of love, not pity, for them. We each are a beautiful and complex creation, and understanding ourselves is a great mystery that we will spend our entire lifetime trying to discover. It’s ok to ask someone for help with this. This is what we are supposed to do for one another: help one another discover truth so as to flourish and become the persons we were made to be. We need to be there for one another when times are hard and we are suffering. This is what authentic love is all about. Not rejection of another, but embracing them in all of their messiness, and helping one another to live a life of freedom from chaos and confusion.”

You can also read: I wished I was Born a Girl

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Catholic Marriage Prep

Allison Auth is wife and mother to 4 living in Denver, CO. She enjoys helping couples prepare for marriage as an online instructor for www.catholicmarriageprep.com. Before having a family, she was a youth minister and director of Confirmation and has a Catechetics degree from Franciscan University of Steubenville. She enjoys board games, hiking in the mountains, and a glass of red wine with good friends. You can contact her at allisonandnathan@catholicmarriageprep.com.

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