Growth Hormones in Society

[ By on December 15, 2014 ]

The use of Growth Hormones in modern society is frequently debated and in a recent article written by ABC correspondent, Jamie Cohen, both sides of the spectrum are described. Cohen first brings up the pro-growth hormone position, which is that kids who are shorter than average deserve treatment because kids who are short face much social adversity and can’t socially develop. Cohen then describes the counter argument to pro-growth hormone, which is that with society accepting treatment that fixes simple human characteristics, individuals will begin to feel pressure to change anything that is not normal about themselves. In my opinion both sides of the argument make sense and each have valid arguments. What are your thoughts on the use of Growth Hormones in children?

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4 Comments on “Growth Hormones in Society”

  1. matthewgorin

    Kelley Nicholson-Flynn

    [ December 17, 2014 at 4:14 pm ]

    Your post brings up some questions about science. What are the risks of growth hormone therapy? How efficacious is it?

    There has been some research that reports a correlation between height and salary. I haven’t delved into that research much, so if you do, please carefully evaluate it.

  2. matthewgorin

    Well, in an age where plastic surgery is already somewhat socially acceptable, I think that correcting this sort of “deformation,” or shortcoming, isn’t that unusual and won’t necessarily LEAD to a societal pressure to fix physical aspects of your body. For, we already have this pressure today, with the introduction of plastic surgery, where patients can request nose jobs, liposuction, etc in the hopes of enhancing, or correcting, their bodies. So, with the “medicalization of height,” I find the option to use growth hormones with physically healthy kids similar to those who seek plastic surgery. Essentially, I understand that this desire to grow taller is developed psychologically, where children experience pressure to change their appearance from social stigmas or internalized insecurities, and so I don’t think allowing young children to seek growth hormones is really productive. Because there is already this pressure to correct your appearance in the adult world, I don’t think we should introduce this to the world of kids.

    Of course, as a short-ish person myself, I do empathize with those who do want this treatment. I just don’t think it’s healthy, psychologically, to open up this flexible option, through insurance, because it does nothing to erase or debunk the stigmatization of short stature itself.

  3. matthewgorin

    This is a very interesting topic Matthew. Personally, I have to agree with her counter argument. I understand that being shorter than average would create some social issues. But, it is part of life that nobody is perfect and we all have our different flaws. Members of society must be content with who they are or else nobody will ever be completely happy. Everyone will always be trying to correct things about themselves which on the surface doesn’t seem like an issue but it is. It will make everybody constantly looking for what is wrong with themselves instead of the good qualities. We must all learn to accept ourselves for who we are. Of course if the child is having physical difficulties and needs growth hormones to fix these issues then by all means. But if it is strictly to make yourself appear better then I am not in favor of it.

  4. matthewgorin

    Some thoughts that occur:
    –the use of hormones to stimulate perceived social ‘acceptance’ and does this actually affect the psychology of the individual beneficially or at all?
    –I encounter numerous teen males who look for hormone treatments for largely narcissistic wants: muscle tone. Where does that fall within your investigation, since this too is a complex of perceived social conformation & psychological insecurities?
    –what about hormone treatments for those with gender reassignment? where does that fall within your study?
    –analytically, using the term ‘spectrum’ and then ‘both sides’ is incongruent: ‘spectrum’ refers to a range of applications/perspectives, whereas ‘both sides’ implies that there are only two applications/perspectives, so what exactly do you mean? Are you looking at only two perspectives, or do you really want to examine a case study of numerous applications/perspectives?

Hi Stranger, reply with your thoughts:

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