Burger allegedly containing “44mg of estrogen” is too good to be true

Zinnia JonesIn 2016, Brough et al. published the results of several studies examining a particular interaction between environmentally friendly behaviors and self-perception of one’s masculinity or femininity. Previous findings consistently reported that men are less likely than women to make eco-friendly choices such as purchasing “green” products, recycling, and refraining from littering, indicating the influence of a green-feminine stereotype which associates environmental consciousness with femininity and “unmanliness”. In the presence of this stereotype, men avoid engaging in environmentally friendly behaviors because they regard this as a threat to their self-concept as masculine men, and because they fear that others will view them as more feminine and less masculine. The authors tested the effects of this threat by asking a group of men to imagine receiving a “gender-threat” gift card with “a floral design on a pink background with the words ‘Happy Birthday’ in a frilly font”, and then asked them to choose between purchasing a series of green or non-green products. Those men who had been exposed to the gender threat were significantly less likely to choose green products than those who were not exposed to the gender threat. Conversely, a followup study found that when men’s masculinity was first affirmed rather than threatened, they were more likely to choose green products.

Recently, this subtext of threatened masculinity and aversion to environmentalism became just plain text – all-caps, Alex-Jones-rant text. Some men, faced with a plant-based meat substitute, have come to believe that this food will quite literally turn them into women. Continue reading

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Quelle horreur? Parents of trans kids attending gender clinics are overwhelmingly… satisfied!

Zinnia JonesMedia coverage of transgender children, adolescents, and young adults can at times tend toward giving undue credence to parents who do not accept their trans child or who believe their child’s transness to be inauthentic. In many cases these stories are hosted by outlets overtly opposing the acceptance and even the validity of trans people; the Christian Broadcasting Network amplifies the voices of a handful of pseudonymous parents who are outraged that their now-adult children sought and received transition care, while the Christian Post published an alarming op-ed from an anonymous “Kelsey Coalition mother” in which she declares that her child has been “stolen” by a “transgender cult” and fantasizes about enacting retribution on trans-affirming healthcare providers (“you contemplate what life in prison would be like. . . . Fire boils through your veins, with bloody carnage dancing violently in your head”). Even more mainstream publications have recently fallen prey to a narrative promoted by an anti-trans father in the midst of a custody battle, escalating into blatant falsehoods circulating about the allegedly imminent “chemical castration” of his 7-year-old trans daughter. Continue reading

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For the Daily Mail, one anecdote defeats mountains of data

Zinnia JonesThe Daily Mail’s overt hostility toward trans people, and LGBT people broadly, is nothing new. From opposing efforts against anti-trans bullying in schools, to claiming falsely that a convicted murderer is a trans woman, to attacking two gay men for having a child, to outing a trans schoolteacher who then committed suicide as a result of the “sensational and salacious” coverage, the Mail has established itself as an outlet for essentially any coverage that can be slanted to paint queer and trans people in a negative light.

Calling out the bias in the Mail’s coverage of trans-related topics could easily be a full-time job – but one particularly sensational story from a few days ago certainly deserves a closer look. Continue reading

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New study on fertility treatment for trans men: Prior testosterone use does not affect ovarian stimulation outcomes

Disclaimer: I am not a medical professional and this is not medical advice.

Zinnia JonesThere’s an abundance of misinformation among the public regarding cross-sex hormone therapy’s effects on fertility: many people seem to believe that taking HRT, even if later discontinued, will result in permanent infertility for trans people. This is far from the case – while, for instance, estrogen and antiandrogens can negatively affect fertility in AMABs, this is “highly variable” and some trans women have “qualitatively normal spermatogenesis” while on HRT (Schneider et al., 2017); Adeleye et al. (2017) also found that by an average of 4.7 months after discontinuing HRT, “normal semen parameters” were attained. Pregnancies occurring among trans men taking testosterone, including unintended pregnancies, have been documented extensively (Light et al., 2014). The belief that either feminizing or masculinizing HRT provide effective contraception is not only false, but potentially dangerous, placing trans people and their partners at risk of unplanned pregnancy. Continue reading

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HRT for trans women could affect the efficacy of HIV pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP)

Disclaimer: I am not a medical professional and this is not medical advice.

Zinnia JonesI’ve previously written about a published case series in which HIV-positive trans women taking the antiretroviral medication efavirenz were found to have abnormally low estrogen levels when taking oral estradiol, suggesting that this medication may interfere with the efficacy of oral estrogen. While this was addressed in these cases by switching to other HIV medications or other routes of delivery of estrogen, a recent study suggests that trans women on HRT may face a more troubling drug interaction: taking estrogen may interfere with and lower blood levels of the HIV pre-exposure prophylaxis medication Truvada (tenofovir disoproxil fumarate/emtricitabine), potentially rendering it less effective at preventing infection. Continue reading

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