DES (Diethylstilbestrol) Research

May 2023 Update

Scott Kerlin, Ph.D.
DES International Research Network

Introduction to my DES Research 1993 to 2023

I am a DES-Son born in the 1950s, meaning that I am a verified individual who was exposed prenatally to diethylstilbestrol. As a part of my ongoing professional medical research consulting work, I have been engaged in research investigating the human health effects of prenatal exposure to diethylstilbestrol  since 1993. In the past twenty years, my research has extended to studies focusing beyond the first-generation “DES Mothers” (i.e. mothers who were prescribed DES) and second-generation (i.e. females, “DES Daughters” and males “DES Sons” born to DES-exposed mothers), to third generation “DES granddaughters” and “DES grandsons” and even fourth-generation individuals.

Published research about the history of diethylstilbestrol appeared as early as 1939 in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA). Most of the published research pertaining to the harmful effects of prenatal DES exposure began in the United States during the period of 1971-72, leading to a total of 50+ years of documented research in this area. The ever-broadening scope of these publications is a reflection of the widely expanding array of epidemiological evidence that has been gathered, especially during the years of 1990s to the present.

Purpose of this Website

As a major epidemiological investigator into the full scope of confirmed and suspected human health effects of DES, I have sought to organize a comprehensive directory of references to published research literature with focus on DES-exposed populations. There is a tremendous supply of historical and recent research that is too often inaccessible to most investigators, so my vision was to bring it all together in one location.

Overview of Areas of Focused Research in Published Work Covering DES

There are seven major subject areas of research covered in published literature focusing on DES and a substantial number of subcategories within each:

(1) DES Exposure and Cancer/Carcinogenetic Effects in Males and Females
(2) DES Exposure and Reproductive/Urinary Effects in Males and Females
(3) DES Exposure and Psychological, Neurological & Psychiatric Effects
(4) DES Exposure and Endocrine/Hormonal Effects (Endocrine Disruptors)
(5) DES Exposure and Psychosexual Effects including Gender Disorders
(6) DES Exposure and Multigenerational Effects (3rd and 4th Generation)
(7) DES Exposure and Other Documented Medical and Psychiatric Effects

To make this research more accessible, I have distilled 9 in-depth literature research guides* from my years of investigation. All continue to evolve in 2023 and beyond.

Contents of My Research

(1) A master directory of the full array of DES-inclusive publications reflecting the historical evolution of Research Trends between 1939 and 2023

(2) A specialized page devoted to the history of DES Daughters Research Trends

(3) A specialized page devoted to the history of DES and Breast Cancer Research  Trends

(4) A specialized page devoted to the history of Third and Fourth Generation DES Research Trends

(5) A specialized page devoted to the history of research on Psychiatric, Neurological, and Psychological Effects of DES

(6) A specialized page devoted to the history of DES Sons Research Trends

(7) A specialized page devoted to the range of studies focusing on DES and reproduction, sexuality, gender-related behavior, gender identity and sexual orientation

(8) A summary of my 30-year study (1993-2023) of Research on DES Sons and Human Health Effects: Emphasis on Gender and Sexuality

(9) A specialized page devoted to my extensive related research on gender identity, gender dysphoria, transgender and nonbinary individuals

* For tips on how to read scientific, academic research articles, I recommend two sources:

(1) Read “How to Read and Understand a Scientific Paper: A Guide for Non-Scientists“, by Jennifer Raff

(2) View Andy Stapleton’s youtube video: Read a Research Paper Effectively: Little Known Tools and Tricks

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