Intersex Australians Classified Under ‘Sexual Deviant’
Posted by caitlinate on October 16, 2009
Anti-androgens are drugs that restrict the release of hormones – primarily testosterone – in the body. They can be used as a treatment for prostate cancer, polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), acne and male pattern baldness. They also work to suppress the male libido/sexual drive and as such is used to ‘treat’ sex offenders. Additionally, intersex people that identify as female might take anti-androgen medication to help with hormone imbalances and some trans women (that are transitioning medically, sometimes in the lead up to surgery) will take it to suppress testosterone so that introduced estrogen can work more effectively on their body.
In Australia the main/only anti androgens I could find available are Cyprone, Cyprostat, Cyproterone Acetate (the generic name), Procur, Cyprohexal and Androcur. If you follow any of those drug links you’ll see they can only be prescribed for:
1014 Advanced carcinoma of the prostate;
1404 To reduce drive in sexual deviations in males.
You have to fit in to one of these two categories to get the drug. So, unless you have pretty much incurable prostate cancer, if you need an anti-androgen in Australia – and can’t afford a non-subsidised prescription – your doctor has probably had to get a little inventive with the prescription and classify you as a ‘sexual deviant’. What’s in a label, right? Well, if you are classified as a ‘sexual deviant’ and prescribed this medication then the Therapeutic Goods Administration will put you on their list of possible sex offenders. That’s right. In Australia we like to classify intersex and trans women as possible sex offenders. It can’t just be argued away as a bureaucratic list. It’s dehumanising for people who already have enough trouble being treated as human beings.
And, seriously, who knows how the TGA information is being shared or with who. Does Centrelink? The DOCS? Next time we have another sex-offenders-not-in-our-neighbourhood panic are we going to start pulling TGA files and combining them with the various state sex offender lists?
Credit where credit it due, first heard about this here.
UPDATE. It seems you can access the medication under:
1230 Moderate to severe androgenisation in non-pregnant women (acne alone is not a sufficient indication of androgenisation).
As seen here. (Click on the ‘conditions for prescribing’ link.) I apologise for having not seen or mentioned this before. There are still worries though. If the previously reported isn’t the case why are intersex and trans women being lead to believe it is true? Why are their doctors not aware they don’t need to be classified as sexual deviants? As Wildly Parenthetical says:
I have, however, heard of at least two trans or intersex people who were advised that they would be placed on a sex offender registry if they were prescribed the drug under the PBS, which raises the question of what role physicians play in a potentially scaremongering style of gatekeeping.