Robert F Kennedy Jr suggests that chemicals in water are turning children gay
Written by Peter Boykin on July 25, 2023
Robert F. Kennedy Jr. suggests that chemicals in water are turning children gay
Democratic presidential candidate Robert F. Kennedy Jr. has a history of repeatedly sharing unfounded conspiracies that man-made chemicals in the environment could be making children gay or transgender and causing the feminization of boys and masculinization of girls.
Kennedy made the comments multiple times between March 2022 and June 2023.
Experts dispute the claims from Kennedy, an environmental lawyer and anti-vaccine activist, and told CNN his theories that “Sexual identification” and “Gender confusion” among children could be from their exposure to “Endocrine disruptors” found in the environment are completely unfounded.
“These kinds of issues that are very, very controversial today.” Endocrine disruptors are chemicals that interfere with the body’s hormones and endocrine system, according to the Environmental Protection Agency.
Kennedy on multiple occasions misconstrued endocrine disruptors’ studied ability to cause some male frogs to become female and produce viable eggs, suggesting that these chemicals could have similar effects on children and change their sexuality.
The baseless claim that chemicals – particularly in tap water – could turn people gay has gained popularity with conspiracy theorists over the years, most memorably with conservative radio host Alex Jones, who said “chemicals in the water were “turning the friggin’ frogs gay.”
Dr. Andrea Gore, professor of pharmacology and toxicology at University of Texas at Austin, said the sex of humans is determined at the moment of conception, and cannot later be altered by endocrine-disrupting chemicals.
Atrazine, one of the most common herbicides, is an endocrine disruptor, though Gore said there is no link between these chemicals and gender and sexuality in humans.
A study Kennedy discussed on multiple podcast episodes exposed male African clawed frogs to atrazine in a lab, castrating 75% of the male frogs and turning one in 10 males into females.
On an episode of Jordan Peterson’s podcast, a video of which was removed from YouTube, Kennedy said children are “Swimming through a soup of toxic chemicals.” He further discussed how atrazine can “Chemically castrate and forcibly feminize” frogs, saying “If it’s doing that to frogs, there’s a lot of other evidence that it’s doing it to human beings as well.” Kennedy did not offer any proof of similar changes happening in human beings.
During Kennedy’s June appearance on Joe Rogan’s podcast, he discussed atrazine’s effect on male frogs but did not make a direct link between chemical exposure and sexuality as in previous comments.
While Kennedy’s claims that chemicals are causing sexual dysphoria in children are false, Gore said there is legitimate concern over endocrine disruptors’ proven effect on diabetes, obesity, thyroid disease and more.