By Margie Nichols, Ph.D.
By coincidence, as the news about a drug that can ‘de-masculinize’ female fetuses hit the blogs, one of my sex therapy listserves began a fascinating discourse about the prevalence of PCOS in female to male transgender people. Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS) is a genetically transmitted syndrome with some potentially distressing symptoms and consequences. However, in the population of young women presenting themselves for hormone treatment to transition from a female to a male body, PCOS is relatively prevalent.
Since PCOS is a syndrome caused by an excess of androgens – male hormones – in biological female, this again raises the issue of hormones in both gender identity and sexual orientation. Certainly hormones could not be the sole factor determining these complex psycho-social phenomenon, but it looks like they may play a role and that the two- gender and orientation – are at least partially intertwined.