Diethylstilbestrol (DES): Multigenerational Research Trends 1939-2023

March 2023 Update

Scott Kerlin, Ph.D.
DES Sons International Research Network
DES Research Overview:

In recent years, my continuing research investigating the human health effects of diethylstilbestrol 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.

Below is an extensive overview of principal subject areas of published research focusing on human health and medical effects of DES exposure and the expanding science of human exposure to endocrine-disruptors (EDCs).


There are seven major subject areas of research covered in this directory 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

* A specialized page devoted to the history of DES and Breast Cancer Research is also available.
** A specialized page devoted to research on gender identity and transgender is also available.

>>>Note for readers: Each article in this directory contains a linked title which leads to a summary (abstract) of the scope of the article. In some cases, articles are available in “full-text” format as indicated, and this enables review of the full article. Articles are listed by the year of publication.

2020-2023 Publications

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