Tall Girls, Short Boys, and the Medical Industry’s Quest to Manipulate Height
“Normal at Any Cost” – published March 19, 2009 – is the story, told decade by decade, of medical attempts to tinker with one inherited characteristic: height.
The first chapter tells the story of Laura, a happy child whose doctors prescribed massive doses of DES, a synthetic estrogen, because her mother worried that Laura would never find a husband or happiness if she grew too tall.
Susan Cohen‘s book reveals the way drug companies redefined normal in order to expand markets, and how the best motives and worst motives combined to result in widespread experimentation on children. We think the temptations to tamper with heredity are just beginning.
“Normal at Any Cost” tells the horrible story of drug use to adjust the height of adolescent boys and girls who were threatening to be short, or tall, adults. DES was prescribed to prevent girls from growing “too tall.”
SOURCES AND BOOK REVIEWS
- Author’s website.
- At What Height, Happiness? A Medical Tale, NY Times.
- Normal at Any Cost: Tall Girls, Short Boys, and the Medical Industry’s Quest to Manipulate Height, N Engl J Med 2009.
- Read reviews on Amazon and GoodReads.