Tall women forum de

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Arch Pediatr Adolesc Med. During the latter half of the 20th century, estrogen therapy was administered to prevent otherwise healthy girls with tall stature from becoming tall adults by inhibiting further linear growth. Tall women forum de explore how decisions to treat tall girls with Tall women forum de were influenced by both scientific knowledge and sociologic norms.

Estrogen therapy represented the logical application of scientific knowledge regarding the role of estrogen for closure of the growth plates, but it also reflected prevailing societal and political beliefs about what it meant to be a tall girl. We discuss the rise and fall in popularity of this therapy and suggest that insight into the present-day treatment of short stature can be gained by comparing the use of estrogen therapy for tall girls with the use of growth hormone therapy for short boys. We suggest that this case study illustrates how scientific knowledge is always created and applied within a particular social context.

The therapeutic use of sex steroids dates back to the late 19th century, when medical practitioners such as midwives used ovarian extracts to treat a variety of female disorders. For example, the filtered juice of guinea pigs' ovaries was used for women with hysteria, debility, and abnormal menstruation. Thus, even prior to the discovery of specific substances derived from the ovaries, practitioners attempted to harness their therapeutic potential.

Changes in scientific understanding led to the concept of hormones, substances that were produced in a particular organ but acted throughout the body in a complex web of interactions. By the s, scientists had identified specific hormones produced by the ovaries and testes. One such application in the pediatric arena was the use of sex steroids for influencing growth. By the s, physicians began to understand hormonal influences on the growth plate through 2 important clinical observations.

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First, they observed that children with early exposure to sex hormones due to precocious puberty had premature epiphyseal closure and developed short stature as adults. Physicians also found that children with pituitary disease who lacked sex hormones had open epiphyses with a prolonged period of growth.

Children at risk for tall Tall women forum de due to acromegaly thus became the first recipients of estrogen and testosterone therapy for prevention of excess growth during the s. As a consequence, physicians naturally considered whether the same treatment could be applied in other settings. Girls with constitutional tall stature represented a potential group of patients for whom hormone therapy might prevent further growth, an outcome that some considered desirable. Criteria for treatment included a current height of cm 66 in with open epiphyses or a current height less than cm 66 in but with a predicted height 10 cm 4 in above the average.

In his article, Goldzieher concluded that growth was successfully arrested based on his observation that the majority of girls had growth of no more than 5 cm 2 in from the start of therapy.

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These observations appear to have attracted considerable interest within the scientific community. By bringing this procedure to the attention of physicians, it is hoped that girls whose height is embarrassing to them may receive medical aid in preventing continued rapid growth. This review was followed by the publication of a of scientific articles about the treatment in the mid to late s 12 - 16 that supported a consensus within the medical community that estrogen therapy was a standard treatment for tall girls. These articles scarcely mentioned the treatment of tall boys.

Why was this therapy seen to be useful and interesting enough to attract multiple articles and scientific reviews? It represented newfound knowledge regarding the effects of sex hormones on human growth and development and—perhaps most important—the power to use that knowledge to alter the appearance of potentially tall girls.

Many articles detailed how estrogen treatment could bring tall girls' height into or closer to the normal range. But, why should tall girls be made shorter? And, why was the treatment almost exclusively focused on girls but not boys? The scientific literature details that parents were concerned about the social implications of their daughters being too Tall women forum de, including difficulty and expense in finding clothes that fit, lack of interest in schoolwork and play, and future difficulty in finding employment in some careers, such as air hostess, classical ballet dancer, or military or airline pilot.

However, the single most commonly cited social reason for reducing the height of tall girls was social attractiveness. As one article stated:. Some girls feel so embarrassed with boys shorter than themselves that they believe that Tall women forum de choice of male companions, both in the immediate future and as adults, will be seriously jeopardized. If we want to understand why this rationale for treatment had the sort of widespread resonance it did in the s and early s and why the treatment was for girls but not boys, we need to look at the importance of heterosexual marriage for American society in that period.

If a woman's ideal goal was to be successful at marriage, girls who became excessively tall and who did not embody the feminine ideal would have difficulty in finding marriage partners. A psychology study by Beigel 23 gives insight into cultural assumptions regarding height and female attractiveness. This was a relational view of height in which women's height was seen in relation to men's height. These sorts of norms were reflected in the Tall women forum de rationale for estrogen treatment of girls but not boys.

Case reports and physician surveys from the United States, Australia, and Europe discussed the administration of estrogen therapy to girls aged 9 to 16 years mean age, 12 or 13 years until fusion of the epiphyses was documented, which occurred for most girls at age 15 or 16 years. Most articles suggested that if administered until fusion of the epiphyses was achieved, estrogen treatment was efficacious, with a diminution of height that ranged anywhere from 3.

Some studies noted particular difficulty in accurately predicting the adult heights of girls. Reported positive effects of the therapy included rapid slowing of linear growth, improved self-confidence and self-image, improved performance in school and sports, and disappearance of acne. Physicians carefully commented on the adverse physiologic events associated with the treatment, including mild adverse effects such as nausea, headaches, weight gain, and breakthrough bleeding as well as more potentially serious adverse effects such as mild hypertension, benign breast disease, ovarian cysts, posttherapeutic amenorrhea, and rare events of thromboembolism.

Although there were no reports of malignancy in treated girls, the potential role of estrogen in carcinogenesis was mentioned by a of studies 51825 and may have subdued some of the initial enthusiasm for estrogen Tall women forum de. The s and s saw fewer articles extolling the values of estrogen therapy, 36 - 44 and the literature about estrogen therapy changed, marked by a much more critical commentary.

Articles discussed whether the therapy worked as indicated, detailed the adverse effects, and explained different medications or dosages that might help improve while minimizing adverse effects. Later, the debate changed from whether the therapy was effective and how practitioners could minimize its adverse effects to whether tall girls ought to be treated at all. Rather than debating the scientific merit of the practice, critics were increasingly skeptical about the ethics.

One has to question seriously the right of physicians or parents to determine the ultimate height of a girl. One wonders whether women do not have the right to be tall, just as boys have the right to be short. This skepticism may have led to a diminishing interest in the estrogen treatment of tall girls, which was reflected in physician surveys. For the initial clinical report froma height prediction of approximately cm 5 ft 9 in was an indication for treatment, 7 whereas intherapy was indicated for Tall women forum de predicted adult height of cm 5 ft 11 in according to the majority of clinicians.

The increasing reluctance of physicians to prescribe the therapy may have also been mirrored by decreasing requests for therapy from parents and girls, likely influenced by changing societal definitions of tall stature. Therefore, just as the rise in estrogen treatment of tall girls was influenced by the social context in which the science was discovered, the decline in prescribing patterns was also influenced by changing societal norms regarding girls, women, and height. Those changing norms had much to do with the cultural upheavals and changing ideas about gender in the s and s.

The feminist movement in particular had a transformative effect on American society. Leaders of the feminist movement exhorted women to assert their own identity, questioning the centrality of the traditional nuclear family and encouraging women to not define their success in terms of male partners.

Organizations such as the National Organization for Women actively supported women's participation in the workforce. Increasing opportunities for tall girls also expanded into the athletic arena.

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Enacted inTitle IX required that federally funded educational organizations such as universities allocate resources equally by sex, which led to increased women's participation in sports and increased media coverage of female athletes. Being tall, once seen as a problem, is now a key part of increasingly successful collegiate athletic enterprises such as volleyball and basketball. Sociologic studies are also now confirming that tall women are finally reaping the benefits of their stature, at both personal and economic levels. Recent studies show that height positively influences character perception of women; compared with their shorter counterparts, taller women were rated to be more intelligent, affluent, assertive, and ambitious.

Although estrogen Tall women forum de for tall girls appears from our early 21st-century vantage point to be largely a therapeutic experiment of the past, Tall women forum de was once considered an appropriate application of scientific progress. Newfound knowledge about the role of estrogen in growth plate physiology led to its therapeutic application to modify height. Estrogen was first used in children with abnormal forms of tall stature, such as acromegaly, and then primarily in otherwise healthy tall girls to prevent them from becoming tall adults.

The use of growth hormone GH therapy for short stature has followed a similar Tall women forum de thus far. The discovery of the instrumental role of GH for normal statural growth led to the use of cadaveric human GH extracts or recombinant GH for children with abnormal forms of short stature due to GH deficiency, 61 with exclusive treatment of children with the most severe forms of GH deficiency. The most striking difference between the use of estrogen for tall stature and the use of GH for short stature is sex.

Whereas mostly girls were evaluated for tall stature and were treated with estrogen in the past, twice as many boys than girls are evaluated for short stature and are treated with GH today. Although the increasing social value of height for girls as well as the increasing concern about the adverse effects of estrogen therapy likely influenced the decline in the use of estrogen therapy, the use of GH therapy for short males has replaced estrogen therapy as a means for preventing what was and might still be considered the union most offensive to taste: the union of a tall woman with a short man.

As we continue to explore the powers of science for modifying height for Tall women forum de boys and girls, we should keep in mind historical examples such as estrogen treatment for tall girls. These examples should help us realize that scientific advances are always applied within a specific social context, and within that context, idealized gender relations may be as important as scientific studies in determining what we will do as practicing clinicians.

Correspondence: Joyce M. Author Contributions: Study concept and de : Lee and Howell. Acquisition of data : Lee and Howell. Analysis and interpretation of data : Lee and Howell. Drafting of the manuscript : Lee and Howell. Critical revision of the manuscript for important intellectual content : Lee and Howell. Administrative, technical, and material support : Lee and Howell. Study supervision : Lee and Howell.

Our website uses cookies to enhance your experience. By continuing to use our site, or clicking "Continue," you are agreeing to our Cookie Policy Continue. Download PDF Top of Article Abstract Scientific and social rationale for standard therapy for tall girls Social context Increasing scientific knowledge about estrogen therapy Changing definition of tall stature Implications for future alteration of height in children Article Information References.

Marshall WA What can we do about tall girls? Accuracy of final height prediction and effect of growth-reductive therapy in constitutionally tall children J Clin Endocrinol Metab ; PubMed Google Scholar. Shakib SDunbar MD The social construction of female and male high school basketball participation: reproducing the gender order through a two-tiered sporting institution Sociol Perspect ; Google Scholar Crossref.

Growth Attenuation. Save Preferences. Privacy Policy Terms of Use. This Issue. Citations View Metrics. October Joyce M. Howell, MD, PhD. Scientific and social rationale for standard therapy for tall girls. Social context. Increasing scientific knowledge about estrogen therapy. Changing definition of tall stature. Implications for future alteration of height in children. Back to top Article Information.

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