Community Conversation > Intersex talk

We’ve heard of the children of DES, what about the children of Soy?

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Hi all,

Knowing the depth of knowledge that resides in this forum, I have a question - the impacts of DES in utero are well documented, researched and studied. Does anyone know of equivalents for soy fed premature infants?

I was exclusively fed soy formula (in the dark ages, before any kind of treatments were done to the beans to reduce their estrogenic effect.

As a result, from the materials that I have found, I may have been exposed to a typical daily dose of phytoestrogens that could be up to 5 equivalent birth control pills, per day, all week for at least a year or more.

I was also premature, so this exposure also happened in the equivalent of the third trimester. I am keen to read any research that may have been done as a longitudinal study, or if there is any active research ongoing that is looking for participants..

Much love


The mother of a transgender child messaged me a while ago on Facebook, asking whether soy could be the culprit. She'd apparently consumed quite a lot of soy while she was pregnant. Other than that I don't know, sorry.

Hi Hugh,

Thanks for jumping in so quickly - your blank mirrors my ‘don’t know either’ - not even sure in the current political climate that research is even going on, especially as it involves the soy industry who are almost as powerful as the NRA.

Oh well, time to keep looking


My only guess is no it wouldn't do much. Here are some observations:
 Japan has a long history of soy based foods being a primary staple yet does not appear to have any more trans people than the normal world population.
1. Plant estrogens are much weaker at cell receptor activation than human estradiol.
2. In utero the mother's body has very high levels of estrogen through most of the pregnancy.
3. Estrogen is not in own to influence gender neurology on it's own. The current science on gender formation shows that male hormones are needed as the triggering event of masculization even though estrogen plays a part.
4. DES causes prevention of masculization by effectively blocking androgen receptors in the cells at low blood concentrations. Estrogen does not do this.
5. Concerns about soy plant estrogens revolve about later in life when there can be some estrogen receptor activation.

Hi Josie. :)

Soy is not a primary infant food in Asia, and as such it is actively warned against being an infant food, even in countries with an active soy lobby. Those foods explicitly now say ‘not for premature infants’ + warnings that have only appeared in the last 15 years or so. This is due to the well understood testosterone surge in infant boys being by endocrine disruption mechanisms, affecting their development.!po=20.4545

Also remember that ‘modern’ soy formula is manipulated to reduce the isoflavin content (mainly through heat degradation), and new research on the actions around endocrine disruption and epigenetics.

It’s only just coming tolightnthat there are these processes, and we do not understand them well enough. The simple fact remains that without soy formula those many years ago, i’d Be dead.



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