Short and Sweet: Human Growth Hormone for "Normal" Children

By Priti K. Julka


Use of the human growth hormone (hGH) has become surprisingly popular among children of normal height in the United States. Many supporters of hGH believe that taking the hormone can remarkably improve a child’s self-confidence and social interactions with others. However, some argue that the long-term physical and psychological effects of taking hGH could be rather harmful. This paper assesses the benefits and risks of giving “normal” children human growth hormones. Strong support is shown against giving “normal” children hGH, due to its potentially dangerous effects. In addition, emphasis is placed on the need of society to rid itself of the idea that shortness is sickness. Instead of changing short individuals to fit a norm, it is essential that society changes its perceptions of what is normal. Ultimately, it is important that individuals become aware themselves of the effects of giving hGH to “normal” children, especially as further research is conducted on the hormone.

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